Today I'm very pleased to have Marie Egles Carhart. Marie helped bring her brother's work to posthumous life and has a very touching story to share. Keep reading to find out more about the exciting The Kabrini Message!
1. There is an amazingly sweet story behind the publication of The Kabrini Message. Please tell us how this book came to light.
Thank you, Robin and thank you for inviting me to visit on your blog! This is the very first interview and blog I have done – ever - so it’s very exciting for me! Now for the story behind the story:
It was late in the spring of 2011 when I climbed up into my attic in search of old family photographs for a project for my son’s upcoming wedding. I found the photographs—but I also found something else.
I discovered it as I was digging through a box of photos that had come from my mother’s house. My mother passed away in 1994, and I must have received the box of photographs and mementos shortly after that—but I had not gone through it until this particular day. Inside the old box, I came across a large manila envelope, marked in my mother’s handwriting: “Joe’s Book”. The manuscript was dated 1987.
My brother Joe had passed away in 2010, but I vaguely remembered, many years earlier, hearing my mother talk about a book that he had written. She was typing his hand-written manuscript for him. I don’t believe I ever heard Joe speak of it himself; and I had never heard another word about the book until now. I tossed the envelope aside to take downstairs, thinking it might make for good summer reading.
Although sci-fi is not my usual reading genre, I found that I couldn’t put it down. I genuinely enjoyed it!
I was amazed that he had the imagination to create these twists and turns and intricacies; especially considering that, as far as I know, this was his first novel. Most of all, I loved the quick wit and humor in the dialogue between the characters, which sounded so much like Joe himself!
So I decided to take it one step further; I would get The Kabrini Message published, as a gift to both my brother and our mother who always believed in him.
2. It’s a testament to your love for your brother that you pursued publication of his book. Please tell us more about Joe. What’s your favorite memory from childhood of your brother?
The eldest of my three brothers, Joe was twelve years older than me. The year I started first grade, he started college. But even though there was a large age difference, I do have a few vivid memories of growing up with him.
I remember Joe building his own telescopes as a teen (not from a kit, but from scratch—even grinding the lenses himself). He was absolutely fascinated with the stars and planets, and he spent much of his time at the observatory.
The one thing that surpassed even his obsession for astronomy, however, was his enduring love of ham radio. Back then, his ham call letters were “WB2UXJ”, and I remember, as a very young child, my bedroom was right next to Joe’s and I would fall asleep hearing him calling, “This is Whiskey, Bravo, 2, Uniform, X-ray, Japan” throughout the night. I guess I thought all kids fell asleep hearing that! Later, after receiving what is known as an Extra Class license, the call letters became K2UX (and the mantra became “King, 2, Uncle, X-Ray”). It was the pre-Internet version of online chatting.
3. Now about the book itself. Please tell us what The Kabrini Message is about and how can we find a copy?
I would love to! Here is a synopsis and links for purchase:
c.1960's Family photo of Author, J.R. Egles (center), with me & brothers Jim (left) and Bob (right)
SYNOPSIS – “The Kabrini Message”
They had finally made contact. And the world would never be the same…
Jeffrey Driscoll is a rugged yet charming adventurer with a hidden consciousness: when he gazes through the eyepiece of his telescope, he senses someone is looking back. Haunted by the stars since boyhood, he sets off on an exhilarating quest that takes him across the planet. Not quite sure what he seeks, Driscoll only knows he must keep moving. Throughout his reckless escapades, Driscoll is often accompanied by Mondo (a childlike, affable young African), Mohammed (a surly, sun-blasted Arab) and Goldstein (a cynical New York Jew), an unlikely trio that never fails to plunge face-first into hilariously perilous predicaments.
When an uptight British archeology professor hires the ragtag crew for a dig on the Greek island of Delos, Driscoll stumbles upon a miraculous find: ancient crystals with celestial coordinates that will connect mankind with the Kabrini, a highly advanced alien civilization. Driscoll’s groundbreaking discovery ultimately leads to Planet Earth’s first global space effort, the Legacy mission.
Years later, when Driscoll Mining and the U.S. Army complete deep space construction of the Kabrini communications network, the Legacy mission is deemed a success. Mankind finally makes contact…only to discover the Kabrini Message isn’t exactly what we want to hear. The Kabrini view our civilization as one of heightened intelligence yet no spiritual enlightenment—a dangerous combination. Although the wise alien race has the ability to offer mankind limitless knowledge and staggering technological advances, they fear our barbaric people will only use the information for evil.
As if to prove the Kabrini right, a fanatical terrorist group’s hunger for revenge leads to an explosive turn of events, threatening the Kabrini network; but Driscoll will stop at nothing to save the project. As his obsession with the Kabrini grows and the Legacy mission spirals out of control, he risks losing it all—his company, his grasp on what’s most important and the one thing he’s ever truly loved: his wife, Carol.
This thrilling Adventure meets Sci-Fi saga takes readers across the globe and beyond, from the jungles of Africa to London, from Los Angeles to Greece, from Washington D.C. to Egypt, from Jamaica to Vienna and finally to the deepest depths of space. Join Jeffrey Driscoll and all of mankind on an unforgettable journey to alien contact and universal enlightenment in The Kabrini Message.
4. I want to know more about you, Marie. What do you do besides being an awesome sister?
Thank you, that’s very kind of you. In my “real life” I am a commercial interior designer specializing in hospitality design – specifically hotels and restaurants. I own my own company, Design Nouveau which I started in 1994. Prior to that, I worked in-house at Atlantic City casino hotels doing interior design and purchasing. My background is casino design - my very first design related job was working for Steve Wynn at the original Golden Nugget in Atlantic City.
I absolutely love what I do and am very much aware of how blessed I am to be doing the one thing I love most in the world and to be able to work from home, which is where I’d rather be than anywhere else in the world! It just doesn’t get any better than that and I am very grateful!
5. This may seem an odd question since I’m usually interviewing romance authors, but I have to ask. Boxers or briefs? ; )
Neither. That, of course, can be taken two ways: either no preference or literally, neither. Hmmm…
6. You’ve described The Kabrini Message as Avatar meets Indiana Jones. With such a brilliant set-up for a potential movie deal, who would you like to see cast as Jeffrey Driscoll?
That’s easy – I’ve always pictured Bradley Cooper as Jeffrey Driscoll. Of course, I often just picture Bradley Cooper in general! Ha ha!...No, he really is the perfect Driscoll.
Early on in the process I worked with my editor, Amy Bell of Write Punch, Inc. on this and we came up with character descriptions for each of the primary and secondary characters along with actors to base them on. We were expanding the characters Joe had originally drawn, so we had Joe’s initial descriptions, but just needed to “flesh them out” more.
So I already have actors selected for every prominent role in the movie. I also have one or two directors in mind ;) When the time comes, I don’t know if anyone will ask my opinion, but if they co, I will be ready!
7. What was your family’s reaction when you told them Joe’s book was going to be published posthumously?
I didn’t say anything to anyone until I was pretty far along in the process. The whole experience has taken about a year and a half and I waited a year before I really told too many people about it. There were a few people that knew before that, but even to them, I didn’t let on just how involved I really was. I just kind of glossed over the fact that I was “looking into” getting it published when, in fact, it was much more than that!
But when I did finally tell my family, everyone was very enthusiastic and supportive. And now that the publication date is finally here, the entire family is extremely excited! We have family (and friends) all over the country anxiously awaiting the release! New Jersey (of course!), Utah, Idaho, Florida, Colorado, Tennessee. They (along with almost 1,000 other fans) follow the news on facebook faithfully!
8. Do you have any plans to write and publish your own works?
Not at this point, but perhaps someday…who knows? I’ve really enjoyed writing in conjunction with The Kabrini Message – on the book itself, the forward, creating the blog, etc. Truthfully, I think I would enjoy editing more and can see myself as an editor more so than an author.
I also absolutely loved being involved in the creation of our video trailer. That was so much fun! I would like to explore that area further at some point, too.
9. If Joe was here today, what do you think he would say if he knew his book had a “home” with Etopia Press?
Joe would be thrilled! In fact, I would even go so far as to say Joe IS thrilled! His presence, along with my mom’s, has been felt so strongly, and in so many ways and by so many people throughout this process that I am completely certain they are very much aware and are ecstatic!
But getting back to your question as to what I think Joe would say, so many words come to mind: I think he would say he is extremely happy, (of course!) but also, humbled and more than anything else grateful to finally have his “messages” heard and given a platform in the world.
10. And last but not least, where we can find more information on you and The Kabrini Message? Please include any link you would like readers to know about.
Please visit the FACEBOOK PAGE for The Kabrini Message and
"LIKE" the page! www.facebook.com/kabrini.message
You can follow us on TWITTER @KabriniMessage
I’m very proud of our BLOG at http://kabrinimessage.blogspot.com
AND…please WATCH THE BRAND NEW VIDEO TRAILER that I had so much fun helping Theresa McClinton to create: http://youtu.be/kMnnm_MnmV8
Thank you so much for having me here today, Robin. This has been so much fun and I’m sure I will never forget my first interview! But most importantly, thank you for helping me to get the “message” out. I’m sure the Kabrini thank you, too!
A big welcome to Nulli Para Ora, who obligingly sat down to talk to me about her latest release, Dragon Moon. Keep reading to learn more about her fascinating characters and her journey toward publication.
Nulli Para Ora is quite an interesting pen name. How did you come up with it?
It's Latin for "nothing by mouth." It's usually abbreviated NPO on medical charts, and I used to work in the medical profession for many years. I've also worked with lots of nonprofit organizations, also abbreviated NPO. Since my stories are written and not spoken in the oral tradition, I felt like the name fit me on multiple levels. As I read that, I realize how much of a nerd I really am!
You mostly write sci-fi, non-human stories. Is this what you prefer as a reader as well?
I actually write in many genres. I have an historic romance release in February. As a reader, I love tales with unexpected twists and delectable tension. I love to feel fully invested in the characters. A good story is a good story, no matter the genre as far as I'm concerned.
I love the cover for your latest release. Please tell us more about the Dragon Moon series.
Thank you! I love that cover too. Here's a quick blurb for Dragon Moon, Book 1.
David Johnson and Angelique Meadows are colleagues on a business trip to China. They've worked together for years, but neither has been able to admit their true feelings for the other. This business trip represents a landmark deal in their careers and an opportunity to reveal the truth of their hearts. Just as love blooms, disaster strikes.
The man they're meeting with is Yuen Gao, CEO of a multi-million dollar company. The world sees him as a successful business man. His pack sees him as their Alpha. Rogues, secret experiments, and the undeniable pull of his mate force him to reveal his secret. Is his love strong enough to overcome the pain of loss?
Hearts unite and break as trusted friends become enemies behind the scenes. Love longed for is lost to be replaced by a bond deeper than words. Loyalties are tested as ghosts of the past step into the present.
Can true love survive when forbidden hearts are reconnected?
Boxers or briefs? ; )
Yes. Commando works too.
If you could spend one day with a character from one of your works, who would you chose and why?
Oh wow, that's a tough one. I think I'd choose Farimil, my elf prince. He has strong magical abilities and can do just about anything with his powers. He can travel between realms, read minds, create things out of thin air, and he's immortal. I imagine I could learn a lot from him in many areas.
Jin: That's obviously a political answer. She'd choose me. *smiles and quirks a brow*
Chris: There's no way she'd settle for a dirty mutt when she can hang out with me. Now go play fetch.
Chris: *lifts hands*
Nulli: Guys, cut it out. I'm trying to do an interview here! *sighs* Robin, this is Jin from Dragon Moon and Chris from World Above Water. It seems these two can't stay put.
Jin: Pleasure to meet you. *winks* I've known Nulli for a little while now, and I'm her favorite, far and away. Everyone loves a hot werewolf.
Chris: *rolls eyes* Say the word, Nulli, and I'll boil the water in his arrogant, testosterone infused little body.
Jin: Who are you calling little?
Chris: Don't you have a tail to chase?
Nulli: I think I need a drink.
Jin and Chris: I'll get it!
What’s up next for Nulli?
Initiate, my historic romance is set to release on February 25, 2013, and after that, a story called World Above Water (paranormal romance). I have several stories in the pipeline and many others outlined.
I’ve noticed that many of your works have to require “world building” due to the sci-fi setting. Is this one of your favorite parts of writing? Or do you consider it a necessary evil?
Sometimes world building is fun, but it can be challenging. When I build worlds for my sci-fi series, I have to make the descriptions clear enough to give a feel for things, but not so detailed as to stifle the imagination. I want readers to see the picture in their mind's eye, I just try to guide them in developing that image. For me, the best part of writing is learning about my characters, their quirks, their strengths and weaknesses.
Please tell us about your journey to becoming a published author. Was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
I never intended to become a published author. My writing was always very technical. Research papers, grants, bylaws, patient charts, proposals, nothing like what I do now. I wrote my first story, Dragon Moon about a year ago. I'd started reading stories online and decided to give it a shot. One of my friends, also a published author, Tatiana Caldwell, read it, and encouraged me to think about being published. I'd written about five other stories by the time she mentioned it, and I dismissed it and told her there was no way. I kept writing stories, and she talked to me about it again, so I said, what the heck. I figured I'd try it, get rejected, and move on. Imagine my surprise when Liquid Silver Books showed interest in not one of my submissions, but every one I sent in.
Which of your works (or series) would you love to see as a movie? Who would you cast to play the lead roles?
I would love to see my sci-fi series as a movie. I could see Chris Pine as my hero, and maybe Paula Patton or Jada Pinkett Smith as my heroine. This character is a strong woman who commands respect. I think either of those ladies would be able to bring her to life.
At last but not least, where can readers find out more about Nulli Para Ora?
Stop by my website to find out about upcoming books, contests, meet the characters, and more. www.nulliparaora.wordpress.com I'm also on Twitter @NulliParaOra and on Facebook.
Trailer for Initiate:
Trailer for Dragon Moon:
Thanks so much, Nulli!
Thanks for having me!
Today I have the pleasure of talking with Parker Kincade, one of Liquid Silver Books' newest authors. (Parker has an awesome author photo, doesn't she?) Keep reading to find out more about this busy author, who is getting rave reviews for her debut release.
Your recent release, One Night Stand, is centered around the Martin family. What can you tell us about the Martins and were they inspired by your own family?
The Martins weren’t inspired by my own family. There are some similarities, but for the most part, they are of their own creation.
Hmm. What can I tell you about them? Their parents died in a plane crash over ten years ago. Caleb is the oldest sibling and is six foot, two inches of total attitude. And muscle. And attitude. Did I mention he had an attitude? LOL! Brandon is next to oldest. He’s the quiet one, always watching, waiting for…well. Wait and see. Alec is the youngest of the Martin men and has a smile that would melt the panties off a saint. He’s sweet and playful and loves to have a good time. Now Amanda, she’s the youngest of the brood and the only girl. She’s tough and feisty, but she also has this vulnerability about her that I love. They all have a great appreciation for whiskey, beer and the f-word. Oh, and sex.
To learn more about the Martins, visit my website at www.parkerkincade.com and click on the character page.
Speaking of the Martins, are you currently working on a follow-up to One Night Stand? Would you like to share a tidbit of what readers can expect next?
Actually, I am. Book two, currently untitled, is in the works. It’s Caleb’s story and let me tell you, it’s a…um…handful. I can’t say too much yet, but I will tell you that Caleb’s life is turned upside down as he struggles to keep Samantha safe from her stalker. And damn, keeping those two in line is like herding cats. With a cattle prod. In the dark.
As a writer, do you find it difficult to balance your day-to-day life with writing? If so, do you have any hints on how you do it?
It’s extremely difficult. I own a business and attend grad school. Sometimes my schedule makes me want to curl up in the fetal position. Writing is what keeps me sane.
It’s important to prioritize. I carve out time every single day to write. It may not be hours on end. Hell, it might only be thirty minutes. But thirty minutes are better than none. I was cranky the other day because I’d only written 300 words. My husband looked at me, smiled and said, “that’s 300 more than you had, baby.” LOL! Celebrate the wins, and breathe. It may take me a little longer to finish a manuscript, but I’ll make it worth the wait.
Boxers or briefs? ; )
Oooooo, boxer briefs. LOL! S-E-X-Y!
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A little of both, actually. I suck at outlining, so I don’t plan to that extent, but I am a stickler for details. I do extensive character profiles and scene research.
When I start a new project, I know who my main characters are and the general idea of the story. I use a three-act structure so I usually know the pivotal scenes that get me from one to the other. That’s about it.
When I sit down to write, I think about where I am in the story and where I want to go with the scene and then just let the characters have at it. I’ve learned (thank you, Caleb) not to resist when a character wants to go in a direction I don’t want to go. That’s where the magic happens.
Please tell us about your journey to publication. Was it a long and winding road or a smooth journey?
So far, my road to publication has been smooth. I decided to write One Night Stand in June of 2011. I spent that summer fiddling around with it, and finally got serious about finishing it in the fall. I finished the final edits on One Night Stand in February of 2012. Once I had a completed manuscript, I entered a couple of contests for unpublished authors (won one, took runner-up in another), and I began submitting to publishers. I’d made a list of my top ten publishers and started with the top five. As it turned out, I never had to submit to the last five. In May of 2012, Liquid Silver Books offered me a contract for the manuscript.
Needless to say, I feel very fortunate. I’ve met a lot of great people, received some priceless feedback and have learned a great deal. It’s been amazing.
On your bio, I read that you still read a certain romance once a year. What book and why are you so drawn to it?
The book is The Flame and the Flower, by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. There are so many reasons why I re-read this book, in general. Most of them are sentimental. It was the first romance novel, of any kind, that I’d read. Brandon Birmingham was my first wickedly handsome, fierce, hero-with-a-heart. The setting and imagery are incredible. Kathleen was a master at her craft. She took chances – wrote sex scenes before it was acceptable and challenged her characters in a way that wasn’t found in mainstream. She was a pioneer of the modern historical romance novel.
The reason I re-read this book every year? As a reminder of how my journey started and where I want to go. It’s about learning the craft, always moving forward and writing the best story.
Is there anything else your readers should know about Parker Kincade?
Garden gnomes creep me out.
If you could choose one literary character to spend the day with, who would it be and why?
Oh, the pressure of choosing just one! Clichéd though it may be, I’m going to say Mr. Darcy. Don’t you just want to find out what he’s like when not bound by propriety? Hmm. I’ll bet he can show me a thing or two about what to do with a cravat.
And last, but not least, where can we find out more about you?
If you really want to learn about me, you should like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!
Here are links to all things Parker:
…and of course, here is the link to purchase One Night Stand, available here in Nook and Kindle formats, as well as many others.
Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/one-night-stand-p693.php
Thanks so much, Parker!!!
Thank you Robin! It’s been a blast chatting with you!
Vristen Pierce is a new up-and-coming author and I was proud to have a Q&A session with her. Keep reading to find out more about Vristen and her works!
Pierce aka “Kristen with a V”! Please tell us about “Awful Good Girl”, your
first release with Liquid Silver Books.
Thank you so much for having me, Robin!
Awful Good Girl is a story about Lily, an otherwise conservative, uptight woman with a bit of an exhibitionist streak. She’s happy to dance at a seedy strip club a couple of nights a week, but in her day to day life she’s a wallflower. That’s a weird combo, but I found the dynamics interesting to explore. And of course, since it’s a romance, there’s some heat involved. The heat comes packaged very nicely in the male lead, Elijah. There’s an instant spark there. I adore the idea of love at first sight, but it’s hard to fathom, even in fiction. Having said that, I knew I wanted something between them that was stronger than lust—though that’s there too, of course! My main draw to creating this story was the contrast of the two lives she leads. I especially love when the lines blur and it’s hard to tell which part of Lily is really the act: The good girl or the bad one?
You’re an animal-loving Oklahoma gal. Does your hometown play into any of your writing?
Oklahoma plays a huge part in everything I’ve written so far and probably most of what I’ll go on to write. I love the idea of connected books—characters that were leads in other books making an appearance in an unrelated book, secondary characters getting their own stories, having some of the same fictional locations mentioned in otherwise completely separate novels, etc. But I do reserve the right to go wild and have a setting in Brazil or something. Hey, Okies can travel!
Tell us more about Vristen, the person.
I’m horribly uninteresting! Hmm… I’m the youngest of six children and we’re all a very close-knit family. My parents, my siblings, and I not only live in the same area, we don’t go long at all without seeing one another (and I’m talking more than a day or two.) That’s both good and bad! I don’t have any kids other than a furry one that loves to give kisses and makes ungodly noises constantly: A Pug.
As you know, I love books about redheads.
If you could cast a movie based on “Awful Good Girl”, which actress would you
want for your fiery heroine?
Oh my goodness, this is a hard one! I haven’t thought about it, strangely enough. I guess maybe Alicia Witt could play Lily, but we’d have to darken her hair, ha! If we’re opening the choices up to non-redheads it would take me forever and a day to make a decision.
So you have a self-proclaimed eclectic taste in music. What artists are your current favorites?
get me started. I could ramble about music until your head hits the keyboard in
despair! Since you said “current”, that does help to keep me in line. Right
now, I’m listening to everything from Usher to Soundgarden to Chris Young to
Tool to Billy Idol. (Yes. I go eighties and I go often.)
Prepare yourself for the hard-hitting interview question…boxers or briefs? ; )
disgustingly indecisive so boxer-briefs are always a good bet. One package
gives you everything! Um, pardon the pun.
When you set out to create your heroes, do you have a specific idea in mind? Or do they just come to you as you write them?
I have no idea who the man is at all until I get the words down. It’s a fun discovery, though. But having a specific idea in mind sounds wonderful and I can only hope for that to happen for me in the future!
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. What can we expect to see from Vristen Pierce in the near future?
I have a romantic comedy, “The Scheme of Things”, that’s set to be released in October. Actually, the same date as your book, if I’m recalling correctly! I’m also smack dab in the middle of writing a story about a pair of best friends falling in love. Lastly, I’m in the “thinking” stage of something to follow up Awful Good Girl. There’s way more that can be explored there. Thinking’s all I’ll ever do though because I can’t outline worth a damn! Sad.
As a soon-to-be-published romance author, is there any advice you would
offer to aspiring writers? Is there anything you wished you knew before hand?
I guess the only advice I can give without feeling weird about actually having the audacity to give advice (ha) would be terribly cliché: Don’t give up! Seriously though, if you hit a roadblock with one story, by all means, get to the next. Whether that roadblock is countless rejections, a revision you can’t seem to tackle for whatever reason or plain old writer’s block…it matters not. Put it aside and create something new. You can always get back to work on the previous story once the fog lifts. If I hadn’t done that very thing, I’d still be staring at my very first completed novel. It’s still there taunting me silently from my computer, waiting to see if I’m brave enough to tackle it. Uh…not just yet, but soon!
Thanks for being with us today, Vristen! To wrap up, please let us know where we can find out more about Vristen Pierce and her upcoming releases.
Updates about my books and, really, my randomness in general can be found at www.vristenpierce.com!
Thanks so much again for having me here today, Robin. I had a blast with this interview!
For an excerpt from Awful Good Girl, visit Vristen's book page at www.liquidsilverbooks.com/forums/