American Past Time by Len Joy – Blog Tour part 3

So here we are at the final post of today’s blog tour for Len Joy’s, ‘American Past Time’, and we are going to finish up with a question and answer session with the author.

LenJoy_Headshot American Past Time

Questions and Answers with Len Joy

How did you come to write “American Past Time”?

In my second year of writing classes I enrolled in the novel class, thinking that would give me insight into what it might take to write a novel someday. Turns out people who take that class have a novel they are working on – I didn’t.

So with the class plan being to review and critique a new chapter of each other’s work each week, I used a short story I wrote about a character named Clayton Stonemason who is driving to Chicago for his niece’s wedding. Clayton had been married three times, was a commitment-phobic 40-something who loved his brother but couldn’t stand his brother’s controlling wife. From that story, each week I added another episode to the saga and at the end of the course had a 20,000-word “novel.”

I liked the characters, so I kept working on the novel and several years later I had written “American Past Time,” which is about Clayton’s parents, and Clayton and his brother growing up. The novel concludes decades before the incident that takes place in the original story.

Speaking of when the story takes place, “American Past Time” is set in September 1953 – the gilded age for baseball. Why did you choose that era for the book?

I really backed into it. I started writing a story that takes place in 2003 but then I kept adding backstory about the characters’ parents. And then the parents took over and it became their story. I also grew up in the 50s and 60s, so I have a lot of memories from that era.

Tell us about the character of Dancer Stonemason and how you created him. Is his relationship anything like yours with your father?

The only similarity between my father and Dancer is that both men loved their families. When I started writing these stories, Dancer – the father – was a missing person. He was just someone who wasn’t there. Someone who had let his son down and his son could not forgive him. He didn’t become a real character until I was forced to actually go back in time and create those events that created the rift.

I like to read and I enjoy film and television. I think this is the golden age of television drama. The storytelling, especially in longer cable shows like “The Wire,” is really, really good. I study them for how they reveal action and develop characters and use dialogue in ways that sound natural and not expository.

Are you a big baseball fan?

I like a lot of sports. Baseball was the first sport that I really followed. Today I’m a Cubs fan, which is not exactly the same as being a baseball fan. I had tickets to the first game of the 1984 World Series, which would have been played in Wrigley Field if the Cubs hadn’t managed to lose to the San Diego Padres. I’ve gotten over it.

Your book is about much more than baseball though. What is the overall message and story about in your mind?

“American Past Time” will have special appeal to folks who grew up in the 50s and 60s because of the book’s setting, and of course baseball fans would be interested in that aspect. But it is really about youth and pursuing dreams, love and trying to survive.

What parallels do you see between your pursuit of a writing career and your involvement in endurance sports?

I began both endeavors at the same time, and while I am not yet in the “elite” category of triathletes, I’m getting close. Of course, with triathlons you only compete in your age group, whereas in the writing world I have to compete with all those young writers that everyone wants to publish.

Both activities require a long view, discipline and a commitment to work at them every day. They both offer their fair share of disappointments and setbacks. In both writing and triathlons, it is possible to measure your success through the progress you have made, not just where you finish the race. They both have a community that helps you as you pursue your goals.

You spent 15 years as a businessman and consultant in the engine remanufacturing industry. Why did you transition to writing, with your first novel at 62 years old?

I have always enjoyed writing, and I realized that one of the most rewarding things I did each year was write a somewhat humorous Christmas letter about the family. Kids are easy to poke fun at, especially before they learn to read and editorialize. So I decided to start taking writing classes.

What can you tell us about the sequel to “American Past Time”?

The sequel returns to the current era. It has many of the same characters as “American Past Time,” but instead of covering 20 years, it takes place in one day.

Will you keep writing short fiction as well? How has having that experience helped or hindered your full-length writing?

I really enjoy short fiction – reading it and writing it. Writing short fiction has helped me to be more precise, more efficient with words. Writing a novel is such a long journey; it really helps to have some breaks where you can write something that is complete and that you can share with others.

 

American Past Time by Len Joy – Blog Tour part 1

Today, as part of the blog tour for Len Joy’s, ‘American Past Time’, I am going to be making three posts. The first will be this one, obviously, and will introduce the book and the author. The second post will be my review of American Past Time, and the final post will be a question and answer session with the author.

The Book

American Past Time

Hark! New Era Publishing

Book Blurb

September 1953. Dancer Stonemason is three days away from his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals. With his wife and son cheering him on, he pitches the greatest game of his life. And then he loses everything.

Told against the backdrop of America’s postwar challenges from Little Rock to the Bay of Pigs to Viet Nam, “American Past Time” is the story of what happens to a man and his family after the cheering stops.

The book can be found here: Amazon

 

The Author

LenJoy_Headshot

It’s the golden age of baseball; the stands are brimming with fans and the crowd is roaring. But in the blink of an eye – it’s all gone.

Author and triathlete Len Joy’s debut novel “American Past Time” (April 19, Hark! New Era Publishing) tells the story of Dancer Stonemason, a baseball player who is just days away from his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s September 1953, and Dancer’s family is rooting for him as he pitches the greatest game of his life. But then all the cheering – all the applause and all the support –comes to an end.

“As a father and as a son, I’ve always been interested in the bond between parent and child,” Joy says. I had a very good relationship with my father and with my son, and it struck me that the worst thing that could possibly happen is to lose the respect of your children. Or conversely, to have a father or mother who turns out not to be the person you looked up to. Where do you go from there? That’s what this novel is about.”

Joy pulls from personal experience with his family – and triathlons – for his writing. A competitive age-group triathlete, Joy impressively finished his first Ironman competition at 61 and placed 33rd in his age group in the USA Triathlon National Championship the following year. He uses some of the same practices in trainings that he does in writing, and he learned first-hand how similar the two seemingly different activities really are.

“Both activities require a long view, discipline and a commitment to work at them every day. They both offer their fair share of disappointments and setbacks,” Joy said. “In both writing and triathlons, it is possible to measure your success through the progress you have made, not just where you finish the race. They both have a community that helps you as you pursue your goals.”

Joy’s short fiction has been published FWRICTION: Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Johnny America, Specter Magazine, Washington Pastime, Hobart, Annalemma and Pindeldyboz.

He lives in Evanston with his wife of 40 years.

 ———————-

Len Joy is the author of two short fiction collections, “Casualties” and “Survivors.” His work has appeared in FWRICTION: Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Johnny America, Specter Magazine, Washington Pastime, Hobart, Annalemma and Pindeldyboz.

Joy grew up in the Finger Lakes region of western New York. He graduated from Canandaigua Academy and went on to the University of Rochester where he met his wife. The couple moved to the Chicago area in 1974, and about 15 years later Joy bought an engine remanufacturing company in Phoenix, Ariz. with his brother-in-law.

He started writing classes in 2003 and eventually began devoting all of his time to the creative craft.

In addition to this sharp turn in his career, Joy started training for triathlons. He completed the Coeur d’Alene Ironman in his first attempt at 61 years old. He has a personal goal to one day finish in the top 10 of his age group at the USA Triathlon National Championship. Joy finished in 33rd place in 2013 and plans to make it in the top 10 in 2014.

Joy met his wife, Suzanne Sawada, when they were both freshmen at the University of Rochester. They have been married for forty years and live in Evanston, Illinois.

Author Links:

Author Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Information supplied by JKS Communications as part of their Virtual Tour:

American-Past-Time-VBT

Blog Tour – Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune by Charles E Yallowitz

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune has Arrived!!!

Buy it Here for $2.99!

Book Blurb:

The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven.

Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters.

It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first three installments of this high fantasy series.

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones

“One of the things that won me over was the bouts of humor. Especially in the beginning. “This is not possible! I am a Paladin!” I thought I was going to die with delight.” – C.N. Faust

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor

“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” — Momto4Booklover

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies:

“One of the things I love most about this series are all the characters! They are developed so well that I feel like I know them personally. Even the newly introduced characters fit in immediately.” – BarbBookWorm

“Let’s talk about action. The author creates interesting action sequences with believable use of fantasy elements. He is very creative. There are also good sections where the characters stretch out and we get to know them better.” – Donald L. Mitchell “Music Lover”

Charles author photo B&WAuthor Biography:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Contact:

Blog- www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter- @cyallowitz
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz

My GRL Blog Tour

Big Launch in 2014 My GRL Fiction Thriller

By John W. Howell

Now available on Amazon a new Fiction Thriller published by Martin Sisters Publishing

my grl5star-shiny-web

My GRL by John W. Howell is fast-paced thriller that shows how your life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. . . It is a well-written story that kept me glued, page after page.” Readers’ Favorite Five Stars – Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi. See the entire review HERE

Click cover to visit Amazon

Blurb:

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Author Bio:

Photo by Tim Burdick

Photo by Tim Burdick

John W. Howell’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. He also has a three times weekly blog at Fiction Favorites .

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author Contact:

E-mail: johnwhowell.wave@gmail.com

Twitter: @HowellWave

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Allure of the Gypsies Blog Tour

Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies has Arrived!!!

Allure Final Cover

Buy it Here!

Book Blurb:

The epic adventures of Luke Callindor and Nyx continue after their journey down the L’Dandrin River in Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.

Reeling from his failures in their previous adventure, Luke leads his surviving friends to his hometown.  With his mind frayed and his confidence fractured, Luke must face the family and fiancée he left behind.  It is a brief homecoming when the vampire Kalam attacks the village, forcing Luke and Nyx to break into his lair for the key to resurrecting a fallen warrior.  It is a quest that will force both young heroes to reach new heights of strength and power that they never knew they had.

Can Luke and Nyx escape the lair of Kalam?  And, what role will the orphaned gypsy Sari play in their looming destiny?

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first two installments of this high fantasy series.

wattpad beginning

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones

“This is a sophisticated and delightful read. I recommend this book to lovers of Fantasy or to General Fiction readers. The story is compelling enough to entertain a wide audience.” – John Howell

rsz_prodigy_cover_final

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

“Something I find unique about this fantasy novel that I don’t often find in others, is that the hero, Luke Callindor is rather of the unlucky variety. He does not get everything he asks for, he stumbles, falls, gets knocked down (literally)and taught lessons as he goes. This is helping him to grow into the hero that was promised in the first book.” – Ionia Martin

“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor

“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” —  Momto4Booklover

Now you know about the books in this wonderful series, meet the author behind them, Charles Yallowitz.

Charles author photo B&W

Author Biography:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Contact:

Blog-  www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter-  @cyallowitz

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz

Another big event to celebrate the debut of Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies is that I’m holding a Goodreads Giveaway!  The prize is a paperback copy of ALL THREE LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE NOVELS.  Winners will be picked at the end of December, so go HERE to enter the contest.

P.J Parker’s Fire on the Water Blog Tour

As part of P.J Parker’s Fire on the Water Blog Tour here is some information about the book and the author.

Fire-on-the-Water-Large-Blog-Tour-Banner-3

Fire_on_the_Water_Hi-Res_Cover

Fire On The Water: A Companion To Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 

By P.J. Parker

Category: Drama

Publication Date: 12th December 2013 

ISBN paperback: 978-1-61213-196-2

ISBN ebook: 978-1-61213-197-9

Book Summary

Rachel, a young American biographer researching the life of Mary Shelley in Montreux, Switzerland, is entangled and consumed by the escalating threads of her investigation. Shards of Shelley’s creation are exhumed from the past. Precious memories are hacked and sutured to the unthinkable. The unblemished flesh of the one she loves is stripped back to reveal what lies beneath—aspects of Frankenstein incised and ripped from the nineteenth century and transplanted into her own.

Through a landscape of archival documents, the contents of a trunk unopened for generations, and a spiraling progression of dismembered cadavers and uncertainties, Fire on the Water: A Companion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein interweaves Rachel’s search with the plot of Frankenstein and the horrific occurrences of the summer of 1816 when Mary Shelley dared to dip her quill into the ink of her darkest of waking dreams.

The truth is given life.

Praise for Fire On The Water

The impossible has been done… a really great novel inspired by a really great novel.

-ARC Review, Goodreads

There were some particularly great moments in this story. Times when your own heart is beating as fast as that of the character you are experiencing things with. I loved that the author balanced moments of excitement with a deep back story of Shelley’s research and composition of her famed novel.

                                 -ARC Review, Goodreads

Connect with P.J. Parker TWCS Book PageTWCS Author Page, Author Facebook PageFire On The Water Facebook pageTwitter

Publication Date: 12th December 2013

Sales Information

Fire On The Water is available in paperback and ebook at Amazon, B&N.com, The Writers Coffee Shop Publishing House online: http://ph.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/books/detail/109, and available in ebook format on iTunes and Kobo.

Some information about the Author

IMG_0304 (3) - Copy-2P.J. Parker

P.J. Parker was born and raised in rural Australia. With a bachelor of science in architecture from the University of New South Wales, he has traveled and lived extensively around the world, focusing on cultures of historic interest and buildings of architectural significance before transitioning into a career as a fraud analyst and programmer with a leading international financial institution. An avid reader and researcher, P.J. undertakes his writing with a passionate and exacting attention to detail.

A Personal Interview with P.J. Parker

1.      What is a usual day in the life of P.J. Parker:

My usual day starts at 7am to get up and catch the jitney into New York where I work for a major financial organization. Eight to nine hours analyzing fraud, writing code to detect or prevent, creating detection processes and then back on the jitney to home—mentally exhausted. I have all the best intentions of writing every night but it just does not happen. Somewhere in there my stories and characters are evolving for the next three books. Sentences and characteristics form, ready for when they need to be written down. At the moments that I am able to sit and write, the words gush out as fast as I can type. Version after version has already done the rounds in my head and any chapter or sentence refuses to be written until it is ready for a good first draft that I and my characters are happy with.

2.      What’s your favorite TV show:

My favorite TV show is Bones. I admire the character of Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan with her straight forwardness and logical outlook. Temperance sees the world based on a vast knowledge of humanity and science without the artificial filters of society. The same simplistic and blunt observation comes through in my work. My chapters are usually very short, to the point, with no waffle. I’m not really sure how to waffle.

3.      Favorite novel:

At the moment my favorite novel is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The story format is intriguing, the underlying social commentary still relevant and much of the prose breathtaking—especially when Mary breathes life into her creation. Mary has a wording that is different from her contemporaries—very much that of a woman of the new age daring to enter and conquer a literary world dominated by men.

4.      Best hero and heroine of all time:

Nothing could come close to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. As a couple, even with their prejudices and pride, they are immortal. I know that a little bit of Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy have rubbed off on two of my main characters in Fire on the Water: A Companion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Their sensibilities and ideals are hard to ignore.

5.      Greatest monster ever created (besides Frankenstein):

The greatest monster ever created (besides Frankenstein) would be the one that is closest to reality without the need of the paranormal. For me it is Hannibal Lector—rooted in the depths of our most frightening nightmares but so very, very real. The same can be said for the monster(s) in Frankenstein and Fire on the Water: A Companion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Despite their origins, they are real flesh and blood with underlying motives that may be seen as good or evil.

6.      If you could live in any time period what would it be:

Every age is a new age with its own excitement and uncertainties. I want to live in them all and perhaps that is why I am a writer.

7.      Favorite food:

Could anything possibly be better than a handmade pizza and a glass of Pino Grigio while overlooking Lake Lugano, Switzerland? Perhaps a pot of fondue and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc at a sunny, lakeside restaurant in Montreux, Switzerland.

8.      Biggest fear:

My biggest fear is not being able to let my imagination have its own way, and not being able to let my characters lead me to where they want to go.