Catherine Lim, Excerpts

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Dr. Catherine Lim wrote “A Great Affective Divide” 21 years ago, a sharp and eloquent critique of the PAP ruling party.

If only leaders had heeded her advice.

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Excerpts from Selection of Articles by Catherine Lim

Excerpts #1:

1) It is no secret that while the PAP Government has inspired in the people much respect for its efficiency and much gratitude for the good life as a result of this efficiency, there is very little in the way of affectionate regard.

2) While the PAP ideology remains the same, the people have not. Higher education, a more affluent lifestyle and exposure to the values of the western societies, have created a new generation that is not satisfied with the quantitative paradigm but looks beyond it to a larger qualitative one that most certainly includes matters of the heart, soul and spirit.

3) The absence of this affective dimension in the PAP framework is what has alienated the people from their leaders. It is easily seen that the main criticisms levelled against the PAP point to a style deficient in human sensitivity and feeling – “dictatorial,” “arrogant,” “impatient,” “unforgiving,” “vindictive.”

4) In other countries, political parties come and go, but the country remains the rallying point for the people’s feelings. [In] Singapore, the Government has become synonymous with the country. Indeed, Singapore is often seen as the creation of the PAP, made to its image and likeness. Hence, dislike of the PAP, even though it does not translate into dislike of Singapore, effectively blocks out any spontaneous outpouring of patriotic emotion. The best evidence is in the attitude towards the national flag. Singaporeans continue to be reluctant to put it up in their homes on National Day for fear of being thought PAP supporters and sycophants.

5) If loyalty towards the country is blocked, it has to be directed elsewhere. In Singapore, it is directed at the good life which the country has come to represent. It has been wryly described as the new religion of “moneytheism.”

Source: A Great Affective Divide,” by Catherine Lim (1994)

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Excerpts #2:

1) The fear in Singapore is a special, almost unique kind, for it is self-imposed. Its most obvious form is self-censorship.

Source: A Climate Of Fear In Our Society?,” by Catherine Lim (2010)

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Excerpts #3:

1) The PAP is incapable of reinventing itself.

2) Reinvention would require the opening up of one crucial area that the government is determined to have tight control over. This is the area of political liberties — open debate, criticism, independence of the media, public assembly, street demonstrations for the cause, all of which are taken for granted in practising democracies.

3) Pointing out the case of the 16 political detainees who called upon the government in September last year to set up a commission of inquiry to look into the allegations said against them, Lim noted that the petition was promptly dismissed and no further action was taken.

“I thought that the government had missed a fantastic opportunity to show Singaporeans that it had the honesty and courage to face up its past excesses or to take responsibility for them,” said Lim.

Source:Yahoo News: “PAP incapable of reinventing itself: Catherine Lim” (2012)

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Excerpt #4:

You transformed little, obscure, resource-poor Singapore into one of the most successful economies in the world. If today Singapore is described in breathless superlatives—‘best’, ‘richest’, ‘cleanest’, ‘brightest’—it is all because of you.

If only you had done so without so much human cost. If only the high ranking of Singapore in international surveys on economic development were matched by a similar ranking in surveys on human rights.

Source: If Only—To The Memory Of Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015)

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Excerpts #5:

1) The exuberance, boldness and defiance of the young voters, operating in the new media world of instant, dazzling communication, could be infectious enough to have an unstoppable snowball effect, engulfing other groups of voters, including even those normally sympathetic towards the PAP.

2) [Political] reform there must be. For only then can Singapore come into its own, only then can it claim to be a successful society in every sense of the word, and take a proud place among other societies in the world.

Source: My best hope lies in the young Singaporeans (2012)

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Excerpts #6:

1) We are in the midst of a crisis where the people no longer trust their government, and the government no longer cares about regaining their trust.

2) There are [clear] signs that the present situation has reached crisis proportions, that it is not just an affective divide, not just an emotional estrangement between your PAP leadership and the people. How did this crisis arise in the first place? With utmost respect, Sir, I must point out that it is ultimately your inability or unwillingness to listen to the people.

3) While you see yourself as simply going by the rules, Singaporeans see you as the PAP juggernaut ready to mow down the little people in its path.your PAP leadership and the people.

4) . . .even if it meant an apology and the need to make amends, that would have been a gesture large and empathetic enough, to win over even the most vocal critics. It would certainly have begun the process of creating, for the first time in the history of the PAP government-people relationship, a nexus of understanding and reciprocity.

5) In the absence of the people’s trust, effective government is virtually impossible, as every leader knows.

Source: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister (2014)

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Snapshot with Catherine Lim (2015)

CATHERINE LIM’s works deal largely with the East-West divide, Asian culture, women’s issues, as well as Singapore’s culture, history and politics. She has won national and regional book prizes, and was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture and Information. (bio from SWF)

Catherine Online: Website | Wikipedia | Interview | Kenneth Paul Tan on Catherine Lim

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More Info:

1) Catherine Lim: Political Commentaries

2) Catherine Lim: Newspaper Features

3) On Respect and Elitism (FB Comment, by Neo Swee Lin)

4) On PM LHL’s lack of sincerity and humility (100+ likes in 2 hours / FB Comment, by Edrei Valath)

5) Funny Comment by an ardent admirer of Catherine Lim

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Blog Hop: The Writing Process

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Joe Perrone Jr.

Thanks so much to Joe Perrone Jr. for inviting me to this Blog Hop on the Writing Process.

Joe Perrone Jr. was the first author to be interviewed on this blog!

Joe’s Bio: Joe Perrone Jr. worked as a sportswriter for the Passaic-Clifton, NJ, Herald News, as well as a freelance advertising copywriter. Joe was also a professional fly-fishing guide for ten years in the Catskill Mountains of New York, and has had several fly-fishing short stories published in the Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide. The author is perhaps best known for his Matt Davis Mystery Series. Roscoe — “Trout Town USA” — serves as the setting for Joe’s books in the Matt Davis Mysteries series.

Joe’s Links: Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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The idea of this blog tour is to introduce readers to new authors. I have been asked to answer 4 questions about my writing process and then tag 3-4 more authors.

Here are my answers to the questions:

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Selfie: BCBG shoes

JESS’S WRITING PROCESS

1. What am I working on?

I am currently blogging about Singapore’s political history.

On the creative writing side, I most recently completed The Wilde Twins (a psych thriller series featuring serial killer evil twins).

I have several other projects to get to…

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

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The Wilde Twins (Trilogy) | Jess C Scott

I will let readers decide on that. I like to study the work of people whom I admire and learn from them (whether it’s to do with writing, or something else).

3. Why do I write what I do?

Because I enjoy original stories and seeking the truth.

4. How does my writing process work?

I usually have some kind of plan or (quite comprehensive) outline. If not I tend to waste a lot of time trying to fix details along the way.

Hot chamomile tea helps me stay nice and relaxed while writing/editing.

My Links: jessINK | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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Authors I have Tagged:

I’ve tagged fellow authors Maria Savva, Edward Giles Brown, Matt Posner, and Katherine Mayfield.

I’m very happy to introduce you to these authors, so hop on over to their sites and see what they are up to.

On Twitter, you can follow the various blogs in this tour via the hashtag #MyWritingProcess

maria_savva_hs(1) Maria Savva

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She has published five novels, the most recent of which is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller. Far Away In Time is her sixth collection of short stories.

Maria’s Links: Website | Maria’s Writing Process | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

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(2) Edward Giles Brown

Edward Giles Brown is the author of 365 Days of Verse, a sonnet collection containing a sonnet written every day for a year, and The Sacrifice, a five act play.

He’s currently revising 365 Days of verse and will eventually release a single-volume second edition. He is currently seeking work in Hong Kong.

Edward’s Links: WebsiteTwitter | Amazon | YouTube | Writing Process

matt_posner(3) Matt Posner

Matt Posner is my highly motivated and industrious co-author on the book, Teen Guide!

This is Matt’s bio from the Teen Guide to Sex and Relationships page:

Matt is an NYC teacher who’s willing to make controversial statements that he thinks are in your best interest. In his own words, Teen Guide “explains what mature, adult sexuality is and provides a useful guide to entering that sexual world at the right time.”

Matt is also the author of the School of the Ages series (an urban fantasy for ages 12 and up).

Matt’s Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Katherine Mayfield(4) Katherine Mayfield

A former actress who appeared Off-Broadway and on the daytime drama Guiding Light, Katherine Mayfield is the author of the award-winning memoir, The Box of Daughter: Healing the Authentic Self; Bullied (a guide to recovery for teens and adults who have been bullied); and Dysfunctional Families: The Truth Behind the Happy Family Facade.

She has written for numerous local and national publications, and appears regularly with the Portsmouth Athenæum’s Wednesday Writers’ Series in Portsmouth, NH. She teaches writing workshops and classes in Maine, provides coaching and editing for other writers, and enjoys using her acting skills and love of words to record audiobooks.

Katherine’s Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Writing Process

Author Interview, Marie-Jo Fortis

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Interview #77, with satirical thriller French writer, Marie-Jo Fortis!

Hi Marie-Jo! Describe yourself in 5 words:

Hi Jess! Okay, here goes: Determined, with sense of humor.

Cool! Share a short blurb of your work (10-100 words):

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“Fortis has a marvelous character in Chainsaw Jane…”
~ Kirkus Reviews

Now, for the excerpt, just a little sentence that describes Chainsaw Jane: “With her staccato gestures, mud-covered baggy jeans and clodhoppers, she looked like a barrel drunk with its own wine.”

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

From Balzac’s Le Père Goriot: “Holding this book in your hand, sinking back in your soft armchair, you will say to yourself: perhaps it will amuse me. And after you have read this story of great misfortunes, you will no doubt dine well, blaming the author for your own insensitivity, accusing him of wild exaggeration and flights of fancy. But rest assured: this tragedy is not a fiction. All is true.”

I chose this because I do think that great fiction, the one that gets to the core of things, is truer than what we call reality.

I agree! Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

The writing is just plain fun while the publication process is woooork! Kidding! It’s all fun and sooo easy! Okay, kidding again. Non-writers believe that writing is a simple, amusing activity, an entertaining choice. To these people I want to say, don’t choose writing if writing does not choose you. Writing is as much an addiction, a dependence, as it is a passion. Of course, you can argue that passion is a dependence. You write because you cannot imagine life without it. There are moments when you want to free yourself from it, but as soon as you take some distance from it, it calls you back. It is a love made of pain and pleasure, a mental sadomasochistic adventure. It is also work, work, work. Hitting your head against the wall every time you get a rejection slip. That’s why so many take matters into their own hands and self-publish. But that alone belongs to another discussion. This said, nothing compares to the heights of creativity, when you have found that beautiful sentence, that expression that just clicks, this “mot juste.” Nothing compares to that.

As for publishing, you have to wear a different hat, don’t you? I was the publisher of a litmag years ago, so I have a little experience, even if the publishing world has changed tremendously since. The publication process is about image and marketing. This means that today’s writer needs to double as a business person. Produce a brand. You have to act as a humble peacock. If this sounds like an oxymoron, it probably is. Let me explain to the best of my abilities. You have to show off as much as possible (that’s the peacock part) while thinking of yourself as simply a product. I don’t know many fiction writers who like to see themselves as products, so that’s the humbling part. But to market a book in today’s world, one must market oneself. The left side of my brain gets it; the right one is still pissed off. So there is still training to do on that side.

Very eloquently expressed. I’m a fan of Tarot cards, so the mention of them in the product description for Chainsaw Jane certainly caught my attention. How did you develop an interest in Tarot?:

During one of the trips my husband and I took to Lily Dale, the famous mediums village in New York State, the psychic who gave us a reading recommended Tarot as a way to develop psychic abilities. Since I am a native of France and raised to rely on rational thinking, I thought…mm…okay…whatever. But I am also very curious. Not to mention a Basque; and the Basque Country still has a number of operating “witches.” So I ordered a Tarot set and started studying it. It became a habit to the point where I started reading Tarot to family and friends. Now they come to me and ask for readings. It has basically become a reflex these days. When I am confused about a problem, I use both Tarot and reasoning. I don’t feel the right and left side of the brain are, nor should be, mutually exclusive.

You list some very interesting and eclectic influences on your Goodreads bio (Balzac when it comes to psychology; Voltaire for the bite and satire; Agatha Christie for the structure of the novel). Which of their works would you recommend to readers who would like to try reading them for the first time, and why?

For Balzac, it’s difficult to recommend just one novel from the Human Comedy, as he created one masterpiece after another. I fell in love with him when I fell in love with reading, when I was twelve and when my older sister handed me Le Père Goriot. It’s a poignant story about a man victimized by his daughters. It’s a novel about cruelty, rapacity, as many of his novels are. Balzac depicts his predators like dehumanized machines or marionettes; his victims are poetry. Cousin Pons’ main character is one example of this poetry, and the novel has powerful moments about art collecting, the love of art, the love of beauty. And then there is The Magic Skin, one of his philosophical novels and a dramatic reflection on the meaning (or lack thereof) and brevity of life. In general, the way Balzac portrays, say, the greed of bankers and 19th Century nascent capitalism, pretty much shows that society in its core has not changed.

I love most of Voltaire’ satiric tales, but Micromegas is my favorite. It announces sci-fi, as it is an interplanetary story. There, Voltaire makes fun of human arrogance. A very good lesson told with the philosopher’s customary bite and wit.

For Agatha Christie, I have grown to prefer her Hercule Poirot novels over her Miss Marple ones. To the point that one of the main characters in Chainsaw Jane is actually a parody of Hercule Poirot. Poirot is both an absurd and brilliant character, and I believe the simultaneously absurd, vain and brilliant side of him translates a little better into our world than Miss Marple, although she can be a comforting grandmother. Okay, grandma a bit on the sly side. But still, only when she’s detecting. This said, once I started with one Agatha Christie novel, I had to get another one—Miss Marple or no Miss Marple. She became an addiction. But if you only want to read just one Agatha Christie novel, read what I consider her masterpiece, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

I have a short story collection by Ms. Christie that I like a lot ;) Please share your #1 tip for writers:

I’ll repeat what Gwendolyn Brooks once told me: “Revise, revise, revise.” At the time, I was very young and thought this was the end of the day, the poet was tired or had fallen on her head somewhere, and therefore she didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. But years went by and I know now that “revise, revise, revise” is one of the best pieces of advice any kind of writer can receive.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

www.mariejofortis.com

www.mariejosvoice.blogspot.com

and of course, you can find me at Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook; Book Country on occasion. There are others, but I won’t mention them until I start visiting them more often myself.

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Much thanks to Marie-Jo for stopping by — do visit Marie-Jo’s Website for more info on her projects!

MARIE-JO’S SHORT BIO (in his own words):

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Marie-Jo Fortis had to fight many odds, make many sacrifices, in order to leave France and cross the Atlantic with the man she loved. She could hardly speak English when she reached the US, but that did not stop her. She attained a Master’s in English literature after studying at l’Ecole du Louvre and La Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Her work has been published nationally and internationally in Freedom International, Poésie Première, Talus & Scree, and other periodicals. She also founded Collages & Bricolages, a literary magazine she edited for fifteen years, which received accolades from the US and abroad.

Website | Chainsaw Jane on Amazon

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Interview with Joe Perrone Jr.

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* Interview #74, with mystery writer, Joe Perrone Jr.!

* Note from Jess: Joe was AUTHOR #1 to be featured on this blog in Jan 2010. He’s back with another book in his “Matt Davis” mystery series! One of the books in the series was recently awarded an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion — you know you’d like to find out which one…

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Describe your latest book in 5 words:

Victim, no suspects, no motives.

What inspired the plot?

For years, as a guide on the Beaverkill River in Upstate New York, I passed what appeared to be an old abandoned hotel. Finally, I got the idea for the plot from the thoughts of that old hotel.

Ooh, exciting! Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

* Joe’s Comments: In my new book, Broken Promises: A Matt Davis Mystery, an 86-year old woman is found shot to death on the grounds of an abandoned, burned-out old hotel. There are no witnesses, no suspects, and no apparent motive. Here’s an excerpt from when it happens:

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“I’m here!” she shouts at last, a broad smile spreading across her face. “I’m so sorry I’m la–”

The man turns and starts toward her, but Maggie doesn’t recognize him. As he moves forward, he trips, and suddenly there is a flash of light and a loud crack like a tree being struck by lightning. Maggie feels a dull thud, then a burning pain in the center of her chest; and in just seconds, nothing.

Share some of your favorite quotations (10-100 words): 

“It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”
—Uncredited

“It was beauty that killed the beast.”
—Carl Denham, from the movie King Kong

“The coin don’t have no say. It’s just you.”
—Carla Jean Moss, from the movie No Country for Old Men

“Shut the f**k up, Donny.”
—Walter Sobchak, from the movie The Big Lebowski

“Leave the gun, take the canoli.”
—Clemenza, from the movie The Godfather

What is your definition of “good characterization”?

Good characterization is when an author creates a character that is so three-dimensional and real that the reader actually cries when that character is killed in the book. Really great characterization is when you, the author, cry, too!

What is it about mystery that you find most appealing?

I guess I find writing mysteries appealing because they permit me to use my imagination to the fullest, and they genuinely challenge my inventiveness.

Neat :) What are some of your plans for the rest of the year?

I am putting the finishing touches on the print and Ebook versions of Broken Promises, so I can publish it as soon as possible (hopefully by the end of July). Then, I will be listening to auditions for the narration of the audio book version. Then, my wife, Becky, and I are going to take a two-week vacation through New England and out to Lake Ontario. Rest. More rest. Then I will resume work on a literary novel I began seven years ago while I was in Charlottesville, Virginia. Of course, I am constantly working with other authors, assisting them with editing, formatting, and book cover designs.

Jeez, I’m tired already!

Your websites/blogs/etc:

My website is: www.joeperronejr.com

My author email address is:
joetheauthorATjoeperronejrDOTcom

My Facebook pages are: Author Joe Perrone Jr. and The Matt Davis Mystery Series.

On Twitter, I am @catsklgd1

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Much thanks to Joe Perrone Jr. for stopping by — do visit Joe’s Website for more info on him and his projects!

JOE’S BIO (short bio):

Opening Day was recently awarded an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion, and in 2011, As The Twig Is Bent was translated into Portuguese as Pau que nasce torto by Rafa Lombardino of Word Awareness, Inc. of Santee, CA. Plans are underway to translate Opening Day and Twice Bitten into Portuguese in the very near future.

All of Joe’s books are available in paperback or in Kindle editions on Amazon.com

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Author Interview, Charles Muir

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Interview #70, with “compelled misfit” and horror/dark fantasy writer, Charles Muir!

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Describe yourself in 5 words:

Compelled. Hungry. Misfit. Persistent. Transmuting.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

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From my story in Hell Comes to Hollywood, “Alone and Palely Loitering”:

Knight had a friend, a writer, who soared to dazzling descriptive heights when it came to women’s breasts. Ample ones, especially. On paper, they quivered and beckoned as a succulent feast of edibles, their “creamy mounds” and “Hershey’s kisses” in contrast to Knight’s lens-like assessment, all dimensions appreciable in his worldview. The woman before him was more than a feast, she was a gateway to gluttony, her breasts densely spheroid with long, shadowed cleavage lines, mounted over the proud breastbone of a Valkyrie. And hips, high-velocity curves like a wildfire along twin hummocks, hips that blazed their own sexual lights against the bosom’s fearful symmetry. A tigress, Knight thought, like that Amazonian knockout in those cannibal horror films he watched with the sound down when his wife wasn’t around, he forgot the actress’s name just now.

“Um,” was all he said…

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

A bright light, like a hot, flickering, yellow star, burned through the ghostly mesh of his death dreams. He looked over and she was standing sideward to the fireplace, holding a burning brand outthrust toward it in her hand. Yet not a stick or twig; it was a scroll of tightly furled paper. And as the flame slowly slanted upward toward her hand, she deftly reversed it, taking it now by the charred end that had already been consumed and allowing the other to burn.

— Cornell Woolrich

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

It took me five years to relearn how to write. I don’t mean writing as a craft, but as an act of putting words on paper without college-grafted perfectionism killing your first thoughts. With my stories I now try to emulate Ray Bradbury’s “seven drafts in seven days” approach (or seven sessions at the computer in my case) allowing my conscious thoughts to take over gradually in the last two or three drafts in a more natural arc. It’s fun and healthy for me, seeing as I’m a solitary doer and prefer to keep my studio closed off until I send out the end-product.

As for publishing, all my work has been in short fiction, which out of long habit I continue to submit individually to the small presses, hoping to find an indie publisher who will be interested in anthologizing my stories someday. This means the usual confetti of rejection letters and the sense of climbing a ladder with only two rungs. But I absolutely see the value of self-publishing these days. The technology is in place, the stigma is (rightly) going away, and emerging writers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to self-promote in a dismal marketplace.

As a side note, the Internet can be terrible for a neurotic person like me. There is a metrical side to seeing your work in print in the form of online feedback and statistics that didn’t exist when all you got was a check and contributor’s copy. Still, the Internet has given me relationships and opportunities I never would have dreamed of otherwise, and is giving artists a chance to get their work out there despite the stagnant commercialism and elitism of big publishing.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

I personally prefer narration that transforms the mundane into the strange, even nightmarish. It wakes you up for a moment. I remember very little about even crucial plot points, but I’ll recall a certain shadow, or a flight of stairs, or the way a character resembles a puppet for just an instant. That transformative vision is what gets me as close to the writer’s mind as I will ever get.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

You will get better if you love what you do, because you will do it a lot and for as long as it takes to achieve the desired effect.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

My personal website: www.charlesaustinmuir.com

My article on “How to Submit Short Fiction for Publication”: http://tinyurl.com/submittingshortfiction

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Much thanks to Charles Muir for stopping by — do visit Charle’s Website for more info on him and his projects!

CHARLE’S BIO (in his own words):

I’m a writer, primarily in the horror genre. I’ve appeared most recently in the U.K. magazine, Morpheus Tales, and the Stoker-nominated horror anthology, Hell Comes to Hollywood.

I was born on the Oregon Coast but have lived all my life in Portland.

I’ve written psychological horror, splatterpunk, dark fantasy, flash fiction, slipstream, squishy-soft sf, and experimental. Some of my favorite themes include alienation, disease, hunger and metamorphosis.

My aim is to bend reality, skew the mundane, and broadcast my personal horrors. At the same time I don’t take myself too seriously.

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Author Interview, Douglas Edward Glassford

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Interview #68, with writer and Kindle All-Stars contributor, Douglas Edward Glassford!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Husband, father, grandfather, son, brother.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

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Oh My Darling of the Deep Blue Sea:

It is time, but could this really be happening?

He sensed a figure in the mist, just beyond recognition; a shape mostly, accompanied by the sweetest singing voice.  She sang to him in words he did not recognize; yet did not fear.  They whirled and swirled within him as warm and welcome to his heart as his heavy woolen snorkel and bottle of Scotch Whiskey were to his chilled body.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

Bernard J. Schaffer – GUNS OF SENECA 6 – Opening paragraph of Chapter 2:

He hadn’t practiced medicine since acquiring a nasty ailment that ended his career in Seneca 6 forever. His wracking cough had a way of erupting out whenever he leaned over a patient’s mouth.  Blood mixed with saliva, horked into the unsuspecting face of a man saying “Ah” or a woman asking him to inspect a suspicious lump, had a way of determining the finality of their patronage.  Even Doctor Royce Halladay’s most loyal patients found other doctors.  Ones who didn’t fold up like a chair and clutch their stomachs like their guts were about to uncoil.

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

Since I am a newbie, a neophyte to commercial publishing, the story that is in this wonderful anthology of cryptozoology (rhyming unintended), is my first. Bernard Schaffer and Laurie Laliberte who are in charge of the Kindle All-Star projects are handling the business end. For now, I am just along for the ride seeking to promote CARNIVAL OF CRYPTIDS as I can… as I am doing now, by your grace, on your website.

The writing process itself is not that complex for me. Perhaps it is because most of my writing is non-fiction, and the fiction I do write tends to be short. I can just sit down with a blank page before me and… just start writing. It does not matter what I write at first. It only matters what I write by intent and purpose. I know that your good friend Matt Posner and the other brilliant authors in our anthology have all written novels or full-length books. So, their process might be very much different than mine. I have thought about writing novels, or screenplays — I see my stories in the cinema of my mind.

Always good to keep in mind intent and purpose ;) What is your definition of “good writing”?

Good writing to me is clean, uncomplicated, and honest. From the opening hook through the course of the piece, story, poem, essay, or book, there must be a flow feeds, teases out, my empathetic interest, forming an immediate identification bond between me, as the reader, and with either the narrative message, characters, or situations. I have to believe it is possible, even if it is not probable. Use of inappropriate wording, such as obscure colloquialisms, jargon, or overuse of vulgarity or unnecessary profanity tends to make me think of the author instead of what the author has written. Within character, most everything is allowable. But, like the overuse of adjectives or adverbs, lazy writing as this practice is often called, the opacity of the author increases while the transparency that suspends disbelief and makes the story real fades. If I have to jump in and out of a work, specifically fiction, that I am reading for entertainment to look up a word or jarred out of the illusion of the story-world for any reason, I will most likely stop reading.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Do what you love and allow fame and fortune to follow. Don’t worry about what is popular, focus your energy and time on writing a good story. A story you would want to read. Because if you are not excited about your story or book, no one else will be either. Who you are will flow onto the page as if the ink was tinged in your blood. What is popular now may not be by the time you get your book to the publisher. Remember, everything you do is like signing your name to it. So, write like you want… it is your passion for your story that will carry you through the toughest of writing times.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://about.me/douglasglassford

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Much thanks to Douglas Edward Glassford for stopping by — do visit Doug’s Website for more info on him and his projects! And do check out the Kindle All-Stars FB page too.

DOUG’S BIO (in his own words): “I am a writer who favors short stories… they make me feel taller, with a particular fondness for flash fiction because it suits my ADD functionality… I am blessed that I never get bored, but I do get impatient. When I am not spending time with my beloved wife, family, and friends, you will find me reading, writing, proof-reading & editing, tinkering, or teaching kids how to find their innate genius through drawing and storytelling.”

Poet Interview, Jen Minkman

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Interview #46, with Dutch author/poet, Jen Minkman!

jen minkman

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Romantic, generous, philosophical, genuine, emotional.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

undercurrent

It has been said that emotional intensity is bursting beneath the surface of my poetry, each and every poem riding on top of an undercurrent (hence the title).

Excerpt:

The Collectors

They were standing
there, silently
in the slant of the
early morning light

They had come for me.

Nice! Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

‘Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.’

(T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

To me, the things I write are always inseparably connected with what I feel. I first started writing (and drawing) to make sense of the world around me and escape it at the same time. When the world tends to get too overwhelming, I withdraw and create my own. Words are the tools to describe the emotional undercurrent of my life.

I’ve a similar experience with writing + drawing ;) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

My main goal is to express myself through poetry, but I would also like to touch the hearts of my readers and make them look at the world in a different way after reading my work.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Be curious. Always look at the world around you as if you’re seeing it for the first time, and inspiration will never leave you.

ITA. Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://www.jenminkman.nl

http://www.facebook.com/jenminkman

http://www.twitter.com/JenMinkman

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/jen-minkman.html

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Much thanks to Jen for stopping by!

+ JEN’S BIO +

Jen is a writer of paranormal romance in Holland. She is currently the first and only writer of this genre in Dutch (all the other books on the market are translations of bestsellers from the US and the UK), so she is proud of making paranormal romance more well-known in her own country.

An English version of her book, Shadow of Time, is coming out in 2013. Her website is www.jenminkman.nl

P.S. She is having a free promotion of her poetry collection, Undercurrent, on Kindle 30 April & 1 May!