Today I’ve got a guest interview by a young author. The actual interview appeared originally at https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/here-is-my-interview-with-saleh-m-radaideh/, and because I’m always looking to help other indies out, I’m reposting it here. Check out the book if it interests you – links provided below.
Name Saleh M. Radaideh
Age 21 Years Old
Where are you from
I am Jordanian Canadian, and I currently live in Ottawa, Ontario.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’m currently studying Psychology Bachelor of Science in Carleton University. As for my family, I have one older brother, two younger brothers, and two younger sisters. I love them all very much, and I try my best to cherish all moments with them.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Saleh: I recently got published by Titan Inkorp Publishing House, and it really inspired joy into me, after the long, necessary hard work of trying to get into the publishing business.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Saleh: The main reason I started to write was to inspire and to convey what I personally believe to be true. I wanted to write to fight the part of the rigidly placed status quo that appears to be oppressive and unnatural in my eyes. Writing to me seems to be like an adventure that starts beneath the Earth and then ends up in the skies, where my voice can be heard. And it’s not that I want only my voice to be heard, I want all of our voices to be heard in the name of truth, peace, and love.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It all started back in high school, when a friend of mine showed me a poem he wrote. After reading it and seeing how beautiful the art of writing and poetry is, I started to write ever since. I used to be the typical case of that ‘dude’ who’d always write during classes.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
What mainly inspired me to write God Forsaken is the fact that I wanted to raise awareness on certain important issues that the world faces today. My main goal of writing the book is to inspire coexistence of all religions, and more importantly, teach people about the beauty of the philosophy called Deism. Deism simply and elegantly means, to believe in God only through natural observation. How beautiful is that? That’s all we need! That way, we wouldn’t have to follow every verse in our Holy Books, especially when it inspires violence towards other religions. I have absolutely no intention to offend anyone. I’ve always loved everyone I know, no matter what their beliefs are. I’m just trying to raise awareness to the danger of religious extremism. People are going to hate me for writing this book, but you know, you can’t please everyone. You really can’t. And as for the extreme darkness and twisted emotion in Part 1, it will change throughout parts 2, 3, and 4, but not in a cliché way.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’ve read a lot in my lifetime, and never was I so inspired by a writing style like Chuck Palahniuk’s. The mini-paragraph writing style is so powerful, because he gets straight to the point when he wants to make a concept of element of the story clear to you.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title, ‘God Forsaken’, from the concept of prayer. I’ve met many souls in my life who have given up on the concept of praying to God, as it has always left them in disappointment as to the lack of an answer. Constantly people are praying, crying, sobbing, letting their hearts out on the altars of their gods, seeking for an answer, and ultimately enlightenment. And even when they do get answered, they don’t seem to realize that it was all but a chance based on an inner psychological boost. What I want to tell my readers is that the only form of prayer that’s ever, ever worth having, is action itself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
What I want my readers to know, and this is important, is to question absolutely everything that they are encountered with in their lives. I am very, very aware of the fact that questioning can be extremely painful in the beginning, as it sets you apart from the status quo, from the will of society, and more painfully, from others. But it is necessary! There is no way anyone can achieve enlightenment or become a master of himself unless he has first questioned.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Well, it is realistic in the sense that it can be related to through the messages, but it’s not in the sense that there are certain supernatural intervention in the story.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are a lot of elements in the story which relate to my personal experience in my pursuit for knowledge, but there are some aspects and events of the story which are too dark and extreme to be related to me. Some of it related to me, and some purely fictional.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Two Authors, Osho Rajneesh, the Indian mystic philosopher, and all of his books which focus on the area of philosophy. Also, Chuck Palahniuk, specifically Fight Club.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Definitely Chuck Palahniuk. He is one of the few people in my life with whom I have related to in a spiritual sense of understanding.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading Survivor for Chuck Palahniuk. If it talks about someone who claims to be an antichrist, then we can’t really help but admit that the story would be interesting. His idea of implanting the Antichrist into his story is what inspired me to write this novel, God Forsaken.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There is an author named Mark Kirkbride, author of Satan’s Fan Club. He also adopts the writing style of Chuck Palahniuk, and I thus found his book to be very intriguing. His writing style is brilliant, and the book contains a lot of humor to keep you flipping the pages.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My current projects have mainly to do with completing the novel series, and releasing Part 2 sometime soon.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Kylie Price, Author of Wings of Vengeance. She has always been a kind friend and a great supporter. The world would definitely be a better place if we had more Kylies.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
If I am supported enough in my writing, then of course, that would be my ultimate, greatest dream come true! Writing is one of the main reasons I get up in the morning, and the main reason I don’t want to sleep at night.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The one thing I would’ve wanted to do was to wait until I finished all four parts of the story, and then publish it, because people might get the wrong idea from Part 1. People would begin to think that I don’t believe in God. I do! It’s just that I do believe in God in a different way. All I want for my readers is to wait until all four parts of the book are finished and then judge my work.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It all came ever since I started to imagine, started to imagine and realize that life is far greater, far more beautiful and inexplicable, than what others would claim it to be, and what books might reveal to me.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The main idea of Part 2, which will be named Sabir, is heading back to the origins of the fictional religion, Illumina, and finding out how Mazin, the prophet of Illumina, really created the religion. It’s going to be even darker than Part 1. But Part 3 will be of redemption, and Part 4 will be the elegant closing of this emotional rollercoaster of a story.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
It is in fact very difficult to write sometimes, especially when you have something important to say. As Stephen King once said, “The most important things are the most difficult to write.” For a debut novel, I feel I am tackling big issues, especially that I’m only 21 years old. But still, as Paulo Coelho said, “If it’s still in your head, then it’s worth writing down.”
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Chuck Palahniuk, because he writes not only for the sake of telling a story, he writes to make you a different person when you finish reading the last page of one of his novels. Some of his lines cut very deep into me, like the line that the narrator of Fight Club (the novel) said to himself as Tyler Durden was pushing the gun in his mouth. He asked himself, “Where would Jesus be if no one had written the Gospels?”
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Well, not really, this is still my debut novel. But in the future, if I have to, then I would love to!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Someone named Leana, a designer at Titan Inkorp. She really is a talented artist and knows how to make a cover appropriate for your book.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing this book was challenging everything I was brought up to believe in, and more than that, realizing that somewhere down the line, people will not only disagree with what I write, but they’ll also hate me for it. But again I say, I am not trying to offend anyone, I am only defending what I believe to be true.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that the more I write, the more I learn about the mysteries of myself.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. And when everyone puts you down, criticizes your writing telling you it won’t get you anywhere, you still write, and you write more. The world needs writers, so that people would read, so that individually, your readers would change, and thus the world would change for the better.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Write for a great purpose. Write to heal the world. Write to promote what’s true, what’s loving, and most importantly, what inspires peace.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I read was a book called ‘intelligence’ by Osho Rajneesh. His beautiful explanation of what intelligence really is is an eye-opener. It taught me with intelligence, you respond to your surrounding, while with intellect you only react. It taught me that intelligence has no words while still having meaning, while intellect can say a lot and have little meaning.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I actually love playing basketball. I used to play it all the time back in high school. I also like making people laugh, I do it all the time with my family. I just like letting people know that you shouldn’t take life too seriously, because I used to do that, and it only made me a sadder person.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Game of Thrones! George R.R Martin has the mind as large as the ocean.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Cheeseburger (haha!)/Black/Parkway Drive (Artist)
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have loved to become a musician. I absolutely love music. But not only do I love writing more, but I feel that writing, at least to me, serves a greater purpose.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Yes, I do! Here it is: http://godforsakensalehmradaideh.wordpress.com/
Here is the 5 star review by Snowman for God Forsaken:
Two old friends, Saleh and Hadi, take very different paths in life. Hadi’s philosophy is that “destruction is the ultimate way to live wild and elated” but an initial foray into spray-painting blasphemous slogans takes a much more violent turn. Razor-sharp lines worthy of Chuck Palahniuk such as “Silence is the most covert form of screaming” and “in a world like this, the only way innocence can show is through evil” jump out at one. The structure and style of the book reminded me a lot of Palahniuk and of Fight Club in particular. But in addition to the surface pyrotechnics, this is a thought-provoking read. Perhaps a faith that isn’t tested is no faith at all. The way the ending dovetailed with the opening, or didn’t, depending on your point of view, was extremely clever, and the tricky balancing act of finding an unexpected yet satisfying conclusion was achieved while still leaving things open for Part 2.
Here’s some of the artwork for the book also. It can be purchased from Amazon here.
Okay, so…clearly I don’t get this subtext thing, because I blew it on the last exercise. Here’s another try.
She smoothed the apron around her waist and sat down, floating to the seat. The sound of his utensils on the dinnerware made her motion unheard, and he didn’t see her with his eyes riveted to the iPad on the table in front of him.
She looked down, laced trembling fingers through her hair, and exhaled through her nostrils, slow, deliberate.
“Everything all right?” he said, around a wad of food in his mouth.
“Mm,” she said, and the corner of her mouth pulled back slightly.
“It’s good,” he managed as he shoveled another forkful of food into his mouth. “Great.” He never set down his tablet, and his fingers danced over the screen, leaving smudges of residue behind. He scowled at it.
“Thanks,” she said, and the corners of her lips curled just a touch, then fell. Her eyes shined moist.
She listened to him, fingers drumming lightly on the plastic as he swiped and pecked.
“Do you still think I’m pretty?” she said., and tipped her chin his direction.
“‘Course,” he said. “You’re beautiful.” Drum-drum-drum, thump, tap-tap. Swipe.
She sighed and stood up, went behind him, and laced her arms around his neck, resting her cheek on top of his head. She let the smell of his shampoo and scalp drift into her nose, and felt the texture of his hair on her face.
“Do you still love me?” she said, voice barely a whisper.
“Yeah,” he said, and chewed. “‘Course. Sure you’re all right?”
She stood up, and slid the gleaming chef’s knife from the pocket of her apron.
“Yes,” she said, “I think so. I finally think so.”
Subtext is one of the most important skills a writer can add to their skill set. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get the concept. Basically, “subtext” is literally “under the text”, or what isn’t said.
To be honest, I stink at this. I think I’ve written stuff too “on the nose,” as the expression goes, which means the characters do and say exactly what they mean to do or say. This makes for a flat, uninteresting story, because the reader’s given everything. To really make the story shine, subtext is key.
There are a lot of ways to add subtext, but dialog is one obvious way. Another is by actions which are discordant with the situation. A simple example is a Southern woman saying “Bless your heart,” when she means, “I hope you die.”
So, this is an exercise in subtext for me, because I really, really need to practice. And I really, really need to write. Like, POST HASTE. I’m rotting inside for not doing it, and I can’t find the convergence of time and energy to do it, to study it, to outline, to do anything except my day job, which is stressing me to the point of high blood pressure.
So anyway…subtext practice.
She heard the floor creak, and her eyes popped open.
The dark seemed to bubble in pockets of black and deeper black, but she blinked, fully awake now, seconds after sound sleep, at the sound.
It was the familiarity of the creak that beckoned her. She strained her ears into the night, through the open bedroom door, to the hallway, listening. A long moment passed, the silence seeming to hiss in her head. Then it drifted to her. The familiar sound of his pace over the floor. She’d heard so many times, so many nights as he padded to the kitchen from bed, or to the bathroom in the night. She’d heard it every day as he got up to shower for work, or he went to turn on the TV or the coffee maker. She knew that pace, that pad across the floor they’d shared for sixteen years.
She knew the sound well, and it became clear now as that familiar, easy walk approached the bedroom where she lay curled on her side.
And her blood ran cold, her eyes widening in terror, and a scream caught in her throat, just like when they lowered his casket into the ground last year…
Today, I’m honored to have indie author Tabitha Freeman give an interview here on my blog, one of several stops on her current blog tour. See the details of Tabitha’s latest publication below; for now, here’s TRF!
1.) Your newest book “Iniquity” debuted August 19, 2014 and has already hit the bestseller status. Tell us a little bit about it!
TRF: It’s a New Age horror fiction read and it circles around a group of six people who committed a horrific crime five years earlier. They are brought together again by some pretty dark forces completely out of their control and the story spins into raw terror from there.
2.) Tell us why this is a perfect Halloween month read.
TRF: October is the one time a year we love to scare ourselves, isn’t it? INIQUITY is practically oozing with everything that makes a person not want to turn off the lights at night.
3.) What does your writing process look like? Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. Do you listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
TRF: When your career has you working from home the majority of the time, it isn’t always easy—especially for the wild imagination and short attention span of a YA author ;-). So, most days, I’m working in my office from around 6-7 a.m. into the evening around 6-7 p.m. There are definitely times I change it up, relocate myself to a coffee shop or wherever I might travel sometimes for story research or something—but most of the time, to keep my focus, I try to keep a usual routine. I have lots of quirky things in my office and on my desk and walls, which make me feel like I’m in a constant state of “down the rabbit hole”—which is awesome! And I have always made a soundtrack playlist for every book I’ve written to listen to while I’m in the writing process. What’s really cool is that now that I’m eight books in, readers and fans have taken to sending me ideas to add to playlists once my books release and that’s a fun and unique way for me to interact my imagination with my readers’. Something like that is so surreal.
4.) Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
TRF: Nothing too out of the ordinary—though I constantly talk to myself and I do periodically have to get up and pace around my house.
5.) If you could cast your characters in INIQUITY in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
TRF: I normally don’t give answers for this question because I really like to leave that up to my readers’ imaginations, however, I definitely have some Hollywood crushes I see playing Colin Serpan—I’m talking Chris Hemsworth, or Jensen Ackles.
6.) What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
TRF: Not being able to type 500 wpm…I could write so many stories so much faster if my typing could keep up with the speed of my imagination!
7.) Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
TRF: Nothing is off the table for me. I think at this point, after eight books in that are all completely different genres from one another, my readers and fans expect a surprise every new release I do. It’s become like my M.O. as an author.
8.) Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
TRF: I like to keep my stories as “clean” as I can while not risking the integrity of the story so that more readers can enjoy them.
9.) What are you working on now? What is your next project?
TRF: I’m working on some pretty exciting stuff right now! A spin-off novel from my Ghost Story Trilogy, a dark, apocalyptic project, and I’ve gotten a lot of questions since the release of INIQUITY about other horror reads in the works: the answer is yes, you can definitely expect some more scary-ness in the 2015 year.
10.) You have 6 incredibly relatable and complex characters that lead the story in INIQUITY. Tell us what’s on their tombstones.
TRF: Oooo, this is a fun question!
Ronnie-I Guess I Did Need That Map
Tori-Vanity is Definitely My Favorite Sin
Gabriella-(A carving of Grumpy Cat in her tombstone)
Sam-That Third Wheel Eventually Ran Me Over
Mandy-Who Knew Indecisiveness Could Kill?
Colin-At Least I Looked Like Hercules
11.) What about yours? What would your tombstone read?
TRF: “This isn’t where I parked my car.”
12.) Why the theme of guilt? This story is practically dripping with it.
TRF: I think the scariest part of the entire story is just the reality within the fantasy of it: can we really ever escape guilt?
13.) What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
TRF: I’ve always been a big fan of the horror/occult genre, whether it’s in books or movies. I had the most fun writing this story, however the drafting and editing processes were brutal because I was so particular (and nearly obsessed) with not hitting cliché walls. The horror genre and its basics can be extremely predictable sometimes, and have been done over and over and over. I wanted to make sure that I could keep the basic building blocks of a horror novel intact, while still providing a unique perspective that sticks in readers’ minds and sets itself apart from others like it.
Tabitha, thank you for being here today! Be sure to pick up a copy of Tabitha’s work on Amazon!
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is [e]Christ the Lord.12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a [f]manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men [g]with whom He is pleased.”
Merry Christmas and God bless you all.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure I announce the unveiling of Bryce Beattie’s long-awaited, much anticipated sequel to Oasis, entitled The Journey of St. Laurent – now available on Amazon’s Kindle platform, Barnes and Noble’s NOOK platform, and in many additional formats and platforms from Smashwords!
From the description:
ER nurse Corbin St. Laurent has had a bad couple of weeks. His hometown was overrun by zombies and then bombed to the ground. Now he finds out aliens are not only real, but hostile. To make matters worse, the government’s response it to tell the everyone to calm down. With washington strangely reluctant to fight back, Corbin searches for a weapon that could give the people cause to rise up – the same zombie virus that destroyed Oasis.
The Journey of St. Laurent is a pulp action adventure sequel to Bryce Beattie’s debut novel Oasis. If you like zombies, aliens, fiery redheads, loud mouth radio hosts or non-stop action, you’ll probably like this book.
Check it out at the links below!
Note from JDT: Ladies and Gentlemen, I promised this author a guest post some time ago and I’ve neglected to fulfill my promise! Irene, I’m so sorry it took me this long to get to it. Things in The Real World have been dreadfully busy and tough, and I haven’t forgotten so many things as I have these past couple of months. I apologize, everyone. But, without further ado, I present: Irene Helenowski!
Order of The Dimensions
About The Author:
Irene Helenowski, the author of Order of the Dimensions, is a statistical analyst at an academic medical center in Chicago and recently received her doctorate in biostatistics. She also enjoys going to movies and concerts in her spare time.
About the Book:
When Jane Kremowski first began her graduate studies in physics at Madison State University in Wisconsin, little did she know where her work would take her. Now, she is embroiled in a multitude of dimensions all leading to different outcomes. She and her colleagues therefore must act wisely in order to take and keep away the Order of Dimension from falling into the wrong hands for the sake of her loved ones.
From The Author:
Have you ever thought about what you may be doing in another world? Maybe you’re a painter in Paris, or a rock climber in Colorado? I have had many such thoughts. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the multiverse theory as advocated by theoretical physicists Michio Kaky, Brian Green, and Lisa Randall is correct and we could be living such lives in different dimensions within our universe simultaneously? Such ideas led me to the premise of Order of The Dimensions, where we see the different paths that heroine, physics student, Jane Kremowski takes in different realms. Adventure ensues with the introduction of villain, Anton Zelov, who schemes to get his hands on her and on the Multiverser, the technology allowing for inter-dimensional travel.
With this work, I not only hope to entice the reader with romance, adventure, and a world of what-ifs, but also encourage young adults, particularly young girls, to look into the wonderful world of science. I recently read an NPR article about how there is still a major discrepancy between boys and girls in the sciences, especially in physics. As someone working in an academic medical center, I hope that we can change the attitudes of our youngsters, leading to a new generation of scientists. Will my book be a vehicle for such an objective, at least in one dimension? I don’t know, LOL, but it’s been fun so far, thinking about it and trying.
From the Blog Owner
Helen, thanks so much for this post today! And all the best of luck with your ventures in publishing – may you sell a million!