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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Authors are AWESOME!!!



 Book Nerd habit # 2: I <3 Authors :)

I adore Authors. After all they write what inspires us, give our dreams flight. They create alternate worlds that we can visit at any given time; all we have to do is simply pick up a book....

I love reviewing books. I love being able to read a book, knowing that my opinion matters and what I love most of all…talking with the Authors, especially the Indie Authors!!!  =D    Indies are amazing in every way! We can take a few pointers from these authors, one of them being… Never give up on your dreams!! Indies spend countless hours and $$$ promoting their books.   I am lucky to be able to call a few of these amazing Indie Authors, friends. A majority of these authors I've met via Facebook and the Indie Author I'm featuring today was met this way.

I met Richard Long a few months back while he was promoting his debut novel (Part 1 of a 6 part series) The Book Of Paul. He was trying to get his ratings up on Amazon and made a very public plea on FB. Richard's plea: To get help, getting around another author's "fat ass" in book ratings. How? By buying his book!!! It was very catchy and extremely hilarious (to me) and I've never heard another author make the same snappy comment, as of yet.  I bought an amazing book, helped Richard's cause and made a friend!

Recently I had the chance to interview Richard Long. My original plan was to ask and obtain a playlist to compliment The Book of Paul. As you read on, you'll see why that was not possible, however Richard does mention some songs featured in the book and I posted the songs via YouTube.

         What music did you listen to while writing Book of Paul?

 I write in silence if at all possible. However, having written and directed a number of TV commercials, I'm very conscious of the role of music and sound design in setting a mood. The first line of The Book of Paul is: He practiced smiling. Martin, the protagonist is emotionally deadened to the point where he has to imitate emotions. I've often thought that if I were directing the film or TV version that it would open with Nat King Cole singing "Smile" which is about the saddest song ever written. Check out the lyrics sometime. And the end of the story I would feature Nat King Cole again, singing "When you're Smiling" which is incredibly joyous and optimistic.

 Would you share your Book of Paul playlist? As an Author what music or music genres inspire you to write?

 Music that tells a story in some way. One of my favorite albums is Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello. Every song tells a story. Early Tom Waits was like that, really transported me into his world. My favorite workout music now are two records by Blur: Park Life and The Great Escape. Great storytelling there. Also there is a blur song called The Universal which is the title of the third volume in the upcoming series: The Dream Palace.

What inspired you to write the Book of Paul?

 I wanted to explore the idea of what childhood trauma does to your psyche. I had an abusive childhood. The trauma forced me to create coping mechanisms in order to function. I shut down emotionally at times, not to the extent Martin does, but I was pretty disconnected from people and my feelings. To feel, to care was synonymous with pain and suffering, so I tried to shut that down. Fortunately, I wasn't successful, but I turned to alcohol and drugs to escape and that was a tragic choice as well. At any rate, that was just the launching point. The Book of Paul is really a roller-coaster ride dealing with all kinds of issues and the action is fast and very intense. This is in no way a brooding psychological study, though that element is there.

 Which Character do you think you relate to the most?

When I was younger, I probably related most to William. I was on a dark path for a while, in a lot of emotional pain, very lonely, insecure and disconnected to other people, mired in addiction. Like William I got into the tarot and numerology and studied the occult and the Kaballah, even practiced ritual magic. Fortunately, I pulled out of that nosedive and found Buddhism, which I still practice very imperfectly. Today I would say I relate more to Paul -- if Paul wasn’t so darn hateful and sadistic. I relate to his passion, his ambition, his rejection of authority, his love of life, sense of humor, awe at the wonders and mystery of existence -- and his desire to participate fully in the transformation of humanity, which I do believe is coming far sooner that most people think.

With or without music The Book of Paul is still an amazing story and I cannot wait until the 2nd volume is out. As I like to say The Book of Paul is 488 pages of AWESOMENESS, it captivated me from page 1 and I have to admit that no housework (of any kind) was accomplished until I finished this book (Sorry Hubby).

Smile by Nat King Cole

When You're Smiling by Nat King Cole

Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello

The Universal by Blur

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