Saturday, March 31, 2012

On Writing About the Dead by C.C. Cole

I watched a favorite old horror film recently, “The Changeling” starring George C. Scott, that to me brought together the unrests of ghosts and one of the best séances I’ve ever seen on television or film.  Obviously, I’m biased about anything starring George C. Scott, a longtime favorite actor.  When I first saw this film with my late sister, a huge horror fan whose favorite film was “Motel Hell,” she climbed behind me, finding the bloodless ghost more horrifying than the splatter-films.

With my typical pondering about anything and everything, what is it about the dead that reaches us fiction writers?  Think of the knee-jerk “dead” characters:  Ghosts.  Vampires.  Zombies.  Skeletons.  Mummies.  That’s just getting started, as one could move on to more sophisticated “dead” like spirits, banshees, or wraiths.  Moving away from dead creatures, think about places used:  Cemeteries.   Churches.  Graves.  Empty homes.  Basements.  Dark woods.  

The dead is full of clichés as well:  They return to get even.  They return to settle a score so they can be at rest.  They return to warn the living.  They return to see whom they love.  They return to eat people or drink their blood.  Amongst these clichés is usually someone in the land of the living, who must figure out who this “un-dead” person(s) is, and communicate and/or destroy it.

Why are we writers writing about the dead?  I believe that what happens after death remains a great fascination for many readers and writers and is so full of variations it makes for a useful tool in the creation of a story.  Clichés are not red flags as a negative, sometimes they add enough to bring interest to the reader, and it’s up to the writer to deviate away enough to keep the story unique.  Also, many of us grew up hearing scary ghost stories, and many readers like a good thrill; hence, the horror genre, and I’ll speak (write)  for myself on this one:  There are some great new talents out there that made me drop my kindle.

New authors, if writing about the “dead” or “un-dead” is your thing, go for it.  It’s tried, done, and not going away.  Whatever variation you can give to an old idea will be what you can show the reader by using your talent.  And don’t forget to tweet to us about it. 

By C.C. Cole. 
Originally  posted at


Follow teen assassin Shevata's journey through the history of the city of Gastar for redemption of her past actions and to re-gain her soul.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Frederick Brooke author of Doing Max Vinyl

Frederick Brooke

I was an early reader and decided to become a writer before hitting high school. An affinity for learning languages led to my spending a year in Germany during college, then a year in France a few years later, as a teaching assistant in a lycée. Teaching agreed with me. There followed a 20-year career in the language school business, first as a teacher, then as school manager and salesman of language training. A few years ago I started writing again and in early 2011 finished my first novel, Doing Max Vinyl. I enjoyed writing it so much that I quit my job at the language school in order to devote all my time to writing my second book, a sequel to Doing Max Vinyl. Nowadays you'll find me writing and revising day and night, when I'm not saying hello on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter for the latest news.

Doing Max Vinyl 


Max Vinyl is a recycling king in Chicago. When his environmentalist girlfriend catches him dumping old computer junk in Lake Michigan, Max gets a taste of her violent side. Even his ex-wife can't save him this time. Meanwhile two of Max Vinyl's brawny enforcers have provoked Annie Ogden, just back from four years in Iraq-bad idea! Doing Max Vinyl-guaranteed to make you laugh till you cry. 

Buy at Amazon

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Abigail Brand is the 6 year old author/illustrator of the Hello Little Series

Abigail Brand is the 6 year old author/illustrator of the Hello Little Series. All her books are self-published, hand-written, and hand-illustrated, 14-page children's book. Abigail Brand donates half the money from her "Hello Little" books to Neonatal Intensive Care Units. 


Hello Little Cloud 

Children's Book 

Hand-written, Hand-illustrated, 14-page children's book. Hello Little Cloud contains facts about clouds with a little imagination and lots of colorful illustrations. 

Hello Little Flower 

Children's Book 

Hand-written, Hand-illustrated, 14-page children's book. Hello Little Flower is an expressive and educational poem about flowers. 

Buy Hello Little books

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Books Without Borders An event June 9th on the Yonkers Waterfront

Authors, Booksellers, Agents, Publishers, Distributors and Book Designers will be participating!

This event, organized by The City of Yonkers, The Yonkers BID, The Yonkers Library System, The Westchester Guardian and Yonkers Tribune Newspapers, WGRN Radio and Dennis Sheehan, is to give authors and Booksellers an opportunity to promote themselves and their work, as well as sell their books, to the community and each other.

The Event will encompass the entire Yonkers Waterfront beginning at the new State of the Art Riverfront Library continuing several blocks past the Yonkers Metro North Train Station through Ella Fitzgerald Park and culminating at the picturesque Pier and Amphitheater on the Hudson River.

Workshops, Seminars and Panel discussions will be held throughout the day. Notable Literary Agents will hold workshops such as “How to write a successful query and aquire an agent.”, “A Step by Step Guide to getting Published” and others.

The famous writer and publisher Charles Salzberg of Greenpoint Press will be giving a seminar on various aspects of writing and will be bringing some guest Authors.

Barnes and Nobel will be giving a seminar on e readers and eBooks and participating in a panel discussion “eBooks vs Print books, where is the future?”

There will be many other topics and celebrity speakers. Ten Featured Authors will be signing books and meeting fans at local restaurants around the waterfront area at scheduled times.

To add to the festive atmosphere, face painters and clowns will be in the Children’s Book area and music will be provided by several bands around the event area.

Authors and Booksellers who are interested in participating should contact Dennis Sheehan purchasedpowerbysheehan@gmail to get registered. There are no event fees but anyone selling books is required to have a permit and pay a $20. Permit fee, checks payable to the Yonkers BID. The permit application and filing instructions will be supplied in the registration package. The cutoff date for registration will be April 30th.

Local businesses and Restaurants are supplying discount coupons to all participants. Free parking will be provided to authors, booksellers, agents and publishers. Tables and fixtures to sell books must be provided by the individual vendors.

The last two events drew over 25,000 people.  

9th June, 2012
Yonkers Waterfront.  

Contact Dennis Sheehan

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Heather Grace Stewart: The IAN Interview

Heather Grace Stewart’s poems have been published in Canadian literary journals, newspapers and magazines, international school textbooks, online journals, international print anthologies, and in the British small presses.  Her third poetry collection, Carry On Dancing, was released by Winter Goose Publishing this March. It’s available at, and Nook Books. Her collections of poetry and photos, Leap (Graceful Publications, 2010) and Where the Butterflies Go (Graceful Publications, 2008) have risen to ‘What’s Hot’ in poetry in iBooks USA and Canada, and available at and on several e-readers including Nook Books, Kobo, Kindle and Sony Reader. Her photographs have appeared in Equinox and National Geographic Traveler among others, and on the cover of over a dozen poetry books.

Born in Ottawa, Canada, she lives with her husband and daughter near Montreal. In her free time, she loves to take photos, scrapbook, cartoon, inline skate, dance like nobody’s watching, and eat Swedish Berries — usually not all at the same time.

IAN. Please tell us about your latest book.
HGS. From Winter Goose Publishing: “Feel the tears and the laughter in this inspiring new collection of poetry by Heather Grace Stewart. Carry On Dancing will take you on a journey through personal and global tragedies, and the new technologies that can bring us together or tear us apart. Let the author of Where the Butterflies Go and Leap give you a hopeful look into love and loss, and keep you striving for what is truly important in life.”

“Brave, personal and eloquent poems from Heather Grace Stewart, who can save a child from drowning in one poem and write words of support for children being bullied in the next; for whom the world is a hotchpotch of crazy politics and loving families; whose poems can be cannonballs, wisecracks, narratives, or haiku; and whose photographs complement the poems with the same characteristics of simplicity, surprise and freshness. Carry On Dancing picks up from where Leap began.” - Sally King, Poet and Editor, Poetry Scotland

IAN. How long did it take to write Carry On Dancing?
HGS. I wrote this collection over eight solid months of writing, from late 2010 -spring 2011.  Good poems don’t come to me quickly. I can’t imagine writing a collection in less than a half-year. I also like to reflect the seasons of my life in my poetry.

IAN. What inspired you to write the poems found in Carry On Dancing?
HGS. My whole world inspires me. My family, my young daughter, my friends, and my environment.  I write about everything from wanting to sleep in a little longer with your lover, to the pain of losing a loved one, to the trials of cyber-bullying and trying to live up to everything society expects of us as women,  to the simplicity of enjoying a new blossom in the garden.

IAN. Talk about the writing process.
HGS. I usually write in the early morning, once my daughter’s on the school bus. I try to spend at least a few hours a day working on my poems, and then I have to get to my freelance writing work, and the laundry. There’s never an end to the laundry! But I am usually working on poems in my mind when I’m doing other tasks.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
HGS. My poetry isn’t outlined at all - it just comes to me. First drafts are usually yellow stickies by the phone!

IAN. How is your work different from other poets?
HGS. My poetry has been reviewed as accessible, and using deceptively simplistic language. I don’t want people scratching their heads over what I mean. The last thing I want a reader to feel at the end of my poem is frustration over the reading process. I want them to walk away with new hope and new ideas, not racking their brains over what I was getting at. Also, I like to include photographs with a few of my poems. They’re not meant to overtake the poem but instead compliment it, and reviewers have written that I do this well.

IAN. Is your book published in print, e-book or both?
HGS. It’s available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble ( in print and on the Kindle and the Nook. I’ll also be happy to ship autographed copies ~ readers can contact me at to arrange that.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your poetry?
HGS. I’ve tried to make my poetry collection a journey. At the end of that journey, I’d like the readers to feel a sense of hope about their personal world and the world around them. I’d like them to feel a little lighter. A little more rested. Energized to take on the rest of their day.

IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?
HGS. My author page on  


Carry On Dancing by Heather Grace Stewart
130 pages
Winter Goose Publishing

Excerpt from book:

The Present

It wasn’t intentional.
This day of quiet gratitude
just happened.

Power goes out,
comes back on,
lights flicker;
we breathe a sigh of relief
as the future returns full force;
we carry on with our busy days.

Today, I lived inside the flickering lights;
stopped and stood firmly in the now.
I didn’t wake up, put on my Sunday best, and
promptly go to church. No. In fact,
I slept in; woke up wondering what day it was.
But by tonight, I had a whole day’s grace
to think about, lying awake,
looking out the window at the stars
between me and all my loves;

the ones I miss and don’t tell enough,
the ones I haven’t spoken to since
last year’s Christmas card,
the ones I share this home with
and yell at for silly reasons: Hurry, hurry!
The bus will be here in one minute!
You could have called. Supper’s ruined.

Oh, so many days, I do it wrong,
but today, I did it right.

When she came to me
asking how to wrap a present,
I almost said, It’s November 12!
and kept typing my Tweet, but
a wisp of her hair
fell across her face
and I had to sweep it;
tucking it behind her ear,
just so.

In that second, I remembered
how Dad and Mum taught me.
We used a whole roll of tape,
heard Nana Mouskouri
sing Old Toy Trains
half a dozen times;
I loved those lessons.

I closed the laptop and
sat by the fire with her;
her small fingers creasing
the corners, struggling to
get it right; my hands over hers,
gently guiding, teaching;
We laughed with abandon
as we ripped it open
together, many times.

When the shower water
came pouring down
I lifted my face;
felt every drop:
sweet summer rain.
I wasn’t making lists or
fuming over past conversations.
The flickering lights were
striking, beautiful;
they made me want to stay inside.

When he called me
to see his handy work
there was no Just a minute!
I ran up the stairs, saw his surprise,
kissed him hard. I didn’t even see
the sawdust, the boxes still
to be sorted. I was lost
in the warmth of his lips;
in the warmth of our living.

I know you did this.

At your funeral,
the minister kept calling you
by your brother’s name.
Those up front corrected him;
annoyed whispers,
awkward silence,
summer heat rising
in the room.

You didn’t like your brother much.

Dad and I laughed
all the way home.
We knew you’d sent us a wink.
We knew now: you were fine.

They cut the tumor and
failed, but they didn’t
cut your soul.
How you wish we’d live.
How you lived, nearly every day,
until the cancer crept back,
and you simply couldn’t see
your dreams any more.
You sent me this present.

I’ll rip it open, every day.
On the days I forget—
make the lights flicker.
I won’t sleep in

Carry On Dancing
COPYRIGHT © 2012 by Heather Grace Stewart
Excerpt appears courtesy of Winter Goose Publishing

Friday, March 9, 2012

Nancy A Kaiser: The IAN Interview

I was born with an innate love of animals, especially horses. I grew up riding, training, and showing horses in New Jersey. I graduated from Rutgers College of Pharmacy and practiced for several years before marrying my horse vet and leaving pharmacy to manage our equine hospital and breeding farm for 27 years. My abilities in telepathic animal communication and healing emerged while working with one of my husband’s patients. I live in the healing Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina surrounded by my family of two Labs and a horse.

I operate “Just Ask” Communications, a practice devoted to healing the human-animal bond through enhanced communication and understanding. I’m an ordained minister in the Universal Brotherhood Movement and work as a spiritual liaison for animals and their human companions. I am committed to bridging the chasm that has developed between species while increasing respect for all our relations. I’m an award-winning author of two books, Letting Go: An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Journey of Healing & Transformation and Tales of an Animal Communicator ~ Master Teachers.

IAN. Please tell us about your latest book.
NK. Tales of an Animal Communicator ~ Master Teachers chronicles the tales of the remarkable animals that taught me that I was destined to be an animal communicator and healer. These amazing stories begin after my marriage in 1977. Tales opens with the story of the Quarter Horse filly foal, Because Of Love, who was born with curvature of the spine. Eventually, Love taught me that I was meant to be an animal communicator and changed my life forever.
After committing to my new path, astonishing animals and events began entering my life. The remainder of the book shares the lives and lessons of my personal animals that helped hone my skills in telepathic communication and spiritual healing. From my life on Fair Chance Farm, through my move to the mountains of North Carolina, and subsequent divorce, the lessons and unconditional love of these extraordinary animals will simply astound you. I guarantee you will never look at your own animals the same way again!
I’ve also created a companion CD or MP3 download to Tales of an Animal Communicator ~ Master Teachers that is available for purchase on my Website. Gifts From the Universe contains two releasing exercises that form the final chapter of the book and are designed as guided meditations to aid with the tumultuous energies of CHANGE that we’re all experiencing at this time on our planet.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Tales will be donated to my local Humane Society, Noah’s Wish, and The Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown, California.

IAN. How long did it take to write the book?
NK. It took me seven months to write Tales and another two months for editing, proofing, and design work. My gifted designer, Janet Aiossa, and I worked on the cover early in the writing, so the cover work was completed long before the manuscript. I had saved an inside cover of a National Geographic back in the early 90s that really “spoke” to me. I had no idea why I was saving it until I began to write Tales. Janet did a wonderful illustration based on that image. We personalized the cover by using my hand; my dog, Saba’s paw; my cat, Crystal’s paw; and my horse, Stormy’s leg. I included a red-tailed hawk’s wing, because I get messages from them all the time; a white-tailed deer leg that I also communicate with; and a Hawaiian Spinner dolphin’s flipper that I’ve encountered in the waters off Oahu and Maui.

IAN. What inspired you to write the book?
NK. I always envisioned that one day I would write about the amazing animals I was helping and learning from. This I was sure of even long before I knew I could write. Life on my farm was jam-packed each and every day with unending chores and responsibilities. After meeting Love, which opened my mind and broadened my perspective on things that happen beyond our five senses, I was inundated with astonishing events and animals. I knew their stories had to be shared one day, because their lessons weren’t just meant for me. Their lessons hold great benefit to all. They teach valuable lessons that we’ve long forgotten in our hurry-up society. Simple, yet treasured lessons – how to live in the moment, how to love unconditionally, about transition and reincarnation, etc. – lessons we need to master.

IAN. Talk about the writing process.
N.K. I’ve always been a morning person, which is a perfect trait for a farm owner and manager. When I’m working on a book I usually write every day. Before I begin, I check my emails to be sure I don’t have any communication and/or healing work that needs my attention. Since an animal communicator is usually the last person consulted for an animal’s issues, I try to handle requests for help as quickly as possible. My communication and healing work takes priority over my writing. I didn’t learn this lesson in NJ, which is why I ended up writing my first book, Letting Go: An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Journey of Healing & Transformation. I may be a slow student, but I don’t forget my lessons once I’ve embraced them. I would never write at night or do anything else for that matter unless it was an emergency. I want to be at my best for my writing and my communicating and healing work.
After I’ve written a chapter, I print it. For whatever reason, I just cannot edit on the computer screen. I have to see the written page. Once I’ve made my corrections, I make the changes in the computer and print it again to review. I use a lot of ink and paper, but it’s just my method.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
N.K. For Tales, I did create an outline of the animals based chronologically. Since I was writing about my life experiences, it was easier for me to align their tales chronologically. Once I had everyone listed with birth and death dates, I just let my heart flow the words and memories onto the computer screen. Whereas Tales was intended to be a book from the start, my first book, Letting Go, was based on a personal journal. Because of that, it required a huge amount of editing. Tales was finished much quicker because it required much less editing. Also, I like to think it was because I’ve become a better writer thanks to all the articles and columns I’ve written over the past three years since Letting Go was published.

IAN. How is your book different from others in your genre?
N.K. Tales is different from others in this genre since it not only shares my telepathic communication experiences, but it also shares the experiences and lessons related to the different healing modalities I work with, which include Spiritual Response Therapy, Vibrational Remedies, Color Therapy, Channeling Insights & Guidance, and Shamanic Healing.

IAN. Is your book published in print, e-book or both?
N.K. Tales, as well as Letting Go, is available in print and as an e-book.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
N.K. If you’re an animal-lover or know one, Tales will really show you what part animals are waiting to play in your life. During a consultation session years ago, I was “told” that companion animals came into existence to answer our souls cries for help, because life on Earth is so difficult. The animals in people’s lives have come to them for a reason. Tales will help people recognize the deeper purpose of the animals in their lives. It’s my hope that reading Tales and learning the lessons of the animals that are featured in it will broaden the reader’s perspective on the significance of their animals in their life while helping them develop more meaningful relationships with not only their animals, but all animals.

Letting Go was created for people that have suffered a sudden and unexpected loss or are struggling with negative emotions that are adversely influencing their lives. Until they learn the lessons their pain has come to teach them, they won’t be able to let it go. Letting Go can help readers recognize the lessons their soul is trying to show them, so they can embrace the lessons, release the pain, and move forward and find happiness again. My purpose in publishing Letting Go was to help people learn from their traumatic life challenges more quickly & easily. Once their lessons are learned, they can move forward with grace. Letting Go earned the High Country Writers 2009 Memoir Book of the Year Award.

IAN. Where can we go to buy your book?
N.K. Personalized print copies of both Tales and Letting Go are available on my Website, as is the CD or M3P download of Gifts From the Universe. Print copies are also available from most online booksellers. However, purchasing from my Website allows me to donate the most from the sales of Tales to the various animal charities that it will benefit.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
N.K. My next book will be a sequel to Tales titled Tales of an Animal Communicator – Being A Clear Voice. It will share the lessons I’ve learned through almost 20 years of communicating and facilitating healing work for my many clients’ wonderful animals. Without their trust in my skills, I wouldn’t have been able to learn and grow into the woman that I am today. I am forever indebted to these generous animals and their people for allowing me to help them forge deeper and more meaningful relationships.

IAN. Who do you consider your greatest master teacher?
N.K. To pick one out of all the amazing animals that have shared their lives with me is incredibly difficult. I simply can’t. I have two that have touched my life in profound ways. The first is the Quarter Horse filly foal, Because Of Love, who showed me what my life’s purpose was. Love’s story begins Tales because without her I may never have discovered my true path as an animal communicator and healer. Although she only lived for four short months, Love changed my life forever. I will never be able to thank her enough. Love’s soul has actually been waiting since 1993 for her story to be told.

The second is my dear mare, Squiggles, who was born in 1985. Squiggles stayed with me for 17 years and not only taught me more than most, but she also gave me three colts, who became master teachers for me as well. Prior to my uncovering my communication skills, Squiggles almost died three separate times. Each time, I learned significant lessons about her will to live and strong determination. Squiggles’ and her colts’ lives are chronicled throughout Tales. I have a beautiful painting of her and her second colt, Randy, that hangs next to my bed. I look in those eyes every day and feel grateful that they chose me to be their person.

IAN. Do you have suggestions for newbie writers?
N.K. Write for the “right” reasons for you. Write from your heart. Publish to contribute something of value to others not just to earn money. Surround yourself with professionals that respect your opinion regardless of your inexperience. Be open to constructive criticism and be willing to explore new possibilities and options. Remain true to your purpose and know that your heart knows best. Even if you never publish, the act of writing alone may be all you need. Writing healed me; publishing didn’t. But, know that the first time you hold your own book is magical and enormously satisfying. Each time you hear how your words have helped another, your heart warms and you smile. Those are the moments you’ll remember long after any money you’ve earned is spent.

Tales of an Animal Communicator ~ Master Teachers by Nancy A. Kaiser
317 pages
Memoir, Animal Communication, Pets, New Age
Aronya Publishing

I arrived at Gregory’s house for my session just as I had for many previous ones. For the first time, a collective of my Guides and Teachers channeled through Gregory. Their message was blunt and to the point, followed by an apology for being so direct – but they felt it was the only way to be sure I understood the message I’d been missing. I was told in no uncertain terms that if I continued to jump, I would have a tragic fall that would break my back and restrict me to a wheelchair for the rest of my life! Kind of like a patient who’s just heard they have cancer, I didn’t hear much after that. Luckily, Gregory records his sessions. Of course, it was my choice what I did with the information. They couldn’t interfere with my free will, but they hoped I’d make the wisest choice.
My head was spinning as I headed home. I’d never expected anything this serious. I had a choice, but really what choice did I have? To be wheelchair bound would be a fool’s choice. I’d just been told I could never again do the one thing that had always brought me such joy. I felt like I’d been hit in the stomach with a bat. I cried and cried and cried for days. Jumping horses had been my passion for 50-plus years – the one constant in my life.
I only shared my devastating message with a few close friends, including Collette. I could hardly get the words out before I would start crying. The next time I saw Stormy, I hugged him and cried, telling him I didn’t want him to ever feel like he’d hurt me. I’d been told that I could probably jump a couple more times without incident. The thought of never experiencing that feeling of freedom and power again was agonizing. I had to take the chance to jump one last time. I needed to. I hoped by doing so I’d be able to accept my sentence of “life without jumping.” I had no doubts about the veracity of the message or the method by which it came to me. I knew others probably did, but that was their issue.
Stormy hadn’t been worked in more than a month due to my back pain and vacation. I worked him until the last chance I had to jump before the barn closed. Collette and I felt he’d be fine jumping through a gymnastic (series of three jumps sequentially rising in height). Stormy’s trouble had only occurred at single fences. I wondered if I’d be tense, given the information I had received. I wasn’t because I believed that I’d be protected so that I could say good-bye to joy without incident, so that I could create a final lasting memory.
Stormy was great for not having jumped in so long. We jumped through the gymnastic several times. Collette raised the last oxer (spread fence) each time. I tried to burn the memory into my being – that fantastic feeling of Stormy over the big oxer – to hold onto for the rest of time. He is the absolute best horse I’ve ever jumped, and there’ve been many.
I could’ve jumped forever, but knowing Storm wasn’t fit enough I stopped. As soon as I did, I lost it! The tears streamed down my face, as they are right now. Stormy and I walked around the upper half of the ring with Collette by our side, her hand on my leg telling me it would be all right. But, it wouldn’t! My life’s passion had just died and took joy along with it. The loss of my ability to jump was more heartbreaking than the loss of my husband to unexpected divorce six years earlier. I’d been married for half my life, but I’d been jumping for my entire life, and jumping had never disappointed me.
I fought away the tears as I headed back to the barn. I didn’t want to upset Stormy any more than I already had. I didn’t want anyone else to know what I’d just said good-bye to either. I was reeling from the roller coaster of emotions, plus it was private and personal. I had surrendered to the message from my soul, my Guides and Teachers, the Universe, but I was a long way from accepting it – a very long way.
I am grateful for my intuition that let me know something was amiss. I am grateful for the message, which allowed me to make an informed decision before it was too late. I knew many weren’t so fortunate (including a friend and fellow jumper rider, who dove into a lake and spent the rest of his life training students and their horses from his wheelchair). I felt lucky and grateful one minute, and then devastated, angry, and extremely sad the next. Surrendering is way different than accepting. Without both, you won’t truly heal. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kenneth Hoss: The IAN Interview

Kenneth Hoss was born at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas in 1957 to Albert and Mary Hoss. He served a combined total of fourteen years on active duty from 1974 to 1987 in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. His tour in the Army took him to Frankfurt, Germany where he had the opportunity to travel around Europe. While in the Navy, Kenneth spent most of his time stationed in San Diego and Long Beach. His Navy travels took him to Hawaii, Guam, The Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Okinawa, and Pakistan. He has lived in several States, including South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington and California. Kenneth began writing while in High School, mostly Sci/Fi and Fantasy. It wasn’t until May 2011 that he realized his dream and published his first novel, Storm Rising – A Kelli Storm Novel.

IAN. Please tell us about your latest book
KH. Storm Rising – A Kelli Storm Novel takes place in and around the 33rd Precinct of the NYPD in Washington Heights, NYC. Detective Second Grade Kelli Storm became a Police Officer to follow in her father’s footsteps, a Detective with the 34th Precinct, who was murdered twenty-one years earlier. During the course of a murder investigation, she finds an unexpected link to her father’s killer. During the course of investigating several murders, Kelli shoots and kills the daughter of a retired Drug Kingpin. Soon her life is threatened, her mother kidnapped and her partner and his wife are killed. Kelli finds herself forced off the case by the DEA. However, this does not deter her from pursuing the man responsible, a high powered Colombian Drug Lord. She follows the trail into Mexico and confronts the man on his own turf. As one reviewer put it, Storm Rising is a thrilling roller coaster ride.

IAN. How long did it take to write “Storm Rising?”
KH. Just over a year.

IAN. What inspired you to write “Storm Rising?”
KH. The inspiration actually came from a very unlikely source. I was reacquainted with an old High School girlfriend who encouraged me to take up my writing again. She even fed me a few lines to get the creative process rolling again. Sadly, the resulting MS turned out to be garbage, in my opinion. But the process was flowing by that time, and the result was Storm Rising. The idea just popped in my head one day, and I planned a three book series.

IAN. Talk about the writing process. Do you write at night or in the morning?
KH. I mostly write at night, though on weekends I write during the day.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
KH. With Storm Rising I did a full outline, complete with Bios and cast of characters. Some where along the process though, the outline was tossed out. With Storm Warning, I did a skeletal outline, and a ton of research.

IAN. How is “Storm Rising” different from others in your genre?
KH. I found myself focusing more on my main character. Where most crime fiction focuses on the crimes and solving them, I wanted to portray the life of an NYPD Detective. Her strengths and weaknesses, what drives her to be the best Cop she can be.

IAN. Is “Storm Rising” published in print, e-book or both?
KH. I published in eBook first. In December 2011, I had the book put into print.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
KH. That life is hard but you have to persevere.

IAN. Where can we go to buy your book?
KH. My book is on Amazon -
 Barnes & Noble Nook -

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
KH. The next book in the series, Storm Warning, finds Kelli with a new partner. It is a sequel to the first, and several characters from the first book make an appearance, along with numerous new characters. Her ex-husband Kevin also returns, and there may be a surprise event. ???

IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?

Storm Rising – A Kelli Storm Novel by Kenneth Hoss
282 pages
Police Procedural/Thriller

    Kelli briefed the two uniforms on the situation. She just wanted to pick Rodriguez up for questioning. The problem was, the son of a bitch was smart and had already eluded them once. She instructed them to take the rear of the building, come up from the back stairs. Harris would go with them and she, Bill and Yablonski would take the front.
     The detectives and uniforms split up, Harris and the two officers got back into their cars and drove up the street, turned the corner and were out of sight. Kelli checked her watch. They would go in five minutes. If Rodriguez tried to slip out this time, she hoped he would be caught in the middle.


     She motioned to Bill and Yablonski, “Okay, they should be in position, let’s do this.”
The three detectives made their way to the front of the building, keeping their eyes on the entrance. Once inside, they headed up the stairs to the fourth floor; Rodriguez was supposed to be in apartment 405. As they topped the landing to the fourth floor, they could see Harris and the two uniforms coming up from the other end of the hall. Kelli motioned to Harris, pointing at the apartment door.
    As they approached the apartment, an elderly woman stuck her head out of the apartment across the hall. The old woman looked startled and Kelli flashed her badge, motioning for her to get back inside. The woman gave Kelli an indignant look and ducked back inside, slamming the door shut.
      Kelli checked the door to 405. It was still closed. She hoped that Rodriguez was still unaware of their presence. She motioned for Harris and the two uniforms to take up position on the left side of the door, while she, Hayes and Yablonski took the right. She raised her left hand and held up three fingers, indicating they would go on three. All six officers had weapons drawn, ready to go in.
     Kelli nodded her head three times, counting down, and then knocked hard on the apartment door.
       In a loud voice, she yelled out, “Rodriguez! Police! Open up.”
They could hear several voices coming from inside the apartment and furniture being moved across the floor. She knocked again, repeating her command. She looked at Harris, standing directly across from her and gave him the signal to kick the door.
      Harris stepped back and faced the door, giving it a hard kick with his right foot. The wood splintered as the door flew open with a loud crack. Kelli, Hayes, and Yablonski were the first ones in, followed closely by Harris and the two uniforms. As they entered, they found themselves faced with eight gang members, but Rodriguez was not among them.
     Their weapons trained on the eight men, the detectives quickly took charge of the situation.
Kelli shouted out, “Okay, all of you, on your knees, hands on top of your heads! Bill, you’re with me!”
     The other detectives and two officers took charge of the men in the living room. Kelli and Bill made their way down a short hall to the back of the apartment. The first door they came to was open. Kelli peered in and saw that it was a bathroom. Kelli cleared it and gave Bill the okay sign. The next door was closed and she assumed it was a bedroom.
     They cautiously approached the door, Kelli on the left, Bill on the right, trying to stay out of the line of fire. When she reached the door, she crouched and slowly turned the knob. The occupant began firing through the door, just over her head. Kelli fell flat on her back and kicked the door open, simultaneously returning fire.
     As quickly as it had started, the gunfire ceased. She hadn’t had time to see who she was firing at, but now she saw that it was Rodriguez’s girlfriend. Bill was already in the room by the time she got to her feet. Except for the body of the girl, the room was empty. Rodriguez had slipped out again.
     She looked at Bill, his hands shaking. “You okay partner?”
     “I’ll let you know in a minute. Damn, that was intense.”
     Kelli looked down at the prone body, “That’s putting it mildly. What the fuck was she thinking? Is Rodriguez worth this?”
     Bill just shook his head. “I guess he is, at least to her.”
    “Well, come on. I’ll call the ME’s office, you go help out with our perps. Shit, the bastard got away again.”