Friday, September 20, 2013

13 Questions with...James A. Moore

1. Name one thing you miss about being a child.

Freedom. I miss being able to daydream without interruption and the ability to spontaneously try new things without fear of consequence.
2. You’re hosting a dinner party. What is the menu, and do you cook it yourself, or do you call a caterer?

An actual dinner party? We’ll start with a nice salad: tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, a red wine vinaigrette. For an appetizer let’s go with baked brie with apples and walnuts. For dinner itself a beef tenderloin en croute with bĂ©arnaise sauce, creamed spinach, artichoke hearts with drawn butter. For desert a properly decadent chocolate mousse cake.
Or, if we’re going with my usual budget, spaghetti and meatballs.
And I cook. I’m a mean cook.
3. Are you a collector of anything and if so, what?

I have a nice collection of skulls. No real ones. I believe the one I have in my head is the only real one I need but I do like to collect various skulls. I find them aesthetically pleasing. Also I have a small but growing collection of high-end statues of different comic book characters. Mostly villains.
4. You're about the walk the Green Mile - what do you have for your last meal?

My very last meal….Probably pizza. Or my mom’s goulash.
5. Physical book Vs an E-Reader. Your preference and why?

I like them both for different reasons. The physical books because I love the feel and smell of books. I like the weight in my hands and I love a good piece of artwork. Ultimately my preference is probably for “real” books. Ebooks because, hello, several hundred books that I can carry with me anywhere and when it comes to Stephen King, the real books are bloody heavy.
6. What are you currently reading?
Hair Side, Flesh Side by Helen Marshall, a brilliant collection of short stories put out by ChiZine Publications. Highly recommended. I am also rereading THE BLADE ITSELF by Joe Abercrombie, who has become one of my favorites. I am also line editing a few things for myself and reading about five different ARCS for different writers.

7. What musical artist are you currently into?
Almost easier to name the ones I’m NOT interested in, but currently my favorites include Ray LaMontagne, Disturbed, Gordon Lightfoot, Iron & Wine, The Derek Trucks Band, Amos Lee, Adele, David Gray, Gangstagrass, Kasey Lansdale, Norah Jones and Glen Hansig. The answer varies by the day.
8. Do you have a hidden talent?
Nope I’m pretty much a what you see is what you get sort of guy.

9. What's your favorite word?
That’s as cruel as asking an artist what her favorite color is.  Today’s answer is Love. Why? Because there an myriad connotations involved in the use and misuse of that word.
10. What is your current desktop wallpaper?
A galactic cluster. I’m contemplating going to an autumn motif, but not just yet.

11. You're at a Chinese buffet - what goes on your plate?

Crab Rangoon, salt and pepper shrimp, lo mein, a few chicken wings, a bowl of hot and sour soup.
12.  What kinds of books make up your personal library?

I have a staggering collection of horror. No real surprise there. I have a decent collection of fantast books and a number of classic science fiction volumes as well. In the non-genre set I have most of John Irving’s books and a few others.
13. What advice would you pass on to an aspiring author?

I went to 17 schools in twelve years of schooling. I did not do well in school and I had to teach myself the basics of grammar and the English language (I had some very good help and advice from a few friends of mine). Despite this minor setback I have managed to write and sell a good number of books.
My point? Never give up on your dreams. They are yours. Make them come true.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Seven Forges by James A.Moore

Seven Forges
James A. Moore
Available through Amazon (print and Kindle),
B&N (print and Nook).

Good evening constant reader.

If you like a sword and sorcery epic with characters who all but grab you by the hand and drag you through the narrative, a story line that takes your interest and holds it hostage until it's had it's way with you, a lot of action, is well-paced and is so good, you don't want to put it down, but at the same time, don't want to finish it too quick (then the awesome is over), this book my dears, is for you.

Merros Dulver is leading a group of men making their way to explore the Seven Forges, spikes of mountain that can be seen from the distance of their home land Fellein, but until now have remained unexplored. They encounter a race of people who populate this wild and barren land and it seems as if they were "expected" - Merros's arrival was foreseen. The strangers he discovers there join him on his return to Fellein, but Merros wonders if this might be a mistake, to mix his people with the newcomers. The newcomers's Gods are rather martial and they have wild ways about them. Yet they return to Fellein, and the stage is set.

As I kept reading, I got more and more sucked in to this world and the magic and interesting creatures that abide there. There's more than enough sword play, a sorcerer who gave me the wiggins and made me never want to trust him, a young man who loses a lot and gains more, so much more, but at what ultimate cost, female characters that are more than just pretty faces, though there are some pretty faces, too, and an ending I didn't see coming and when it arrived, with too few pages left in the book, told me we're in for another installment in this series.

My biggest gripe about fantasy writing is it can get too caught up in itself and stretch on and on and on and on, lasting for umpteen volumes. With each new installment, the story starts to stretch our further and further from the core that captured one's attention in the first place.  This is why in my pleasure reading, I tend to shun multi-volume epics. Until now.

Mr. Moore, James if  I may...I hope you've got the next volume in this series written, or if not written, at least well mapped out, because I want more, and so will everyone else who has any taste other than in their mouths.

Circle September 24, 2013, as that's the date this bad boy hits the shelves.

For more information on James A. Moore:
The Official Web Site of Author James A. Moore
James A. Moore on Goodreads
James A. Moore on Facebook

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The 2013 Hugo Awards

Good evening constant reader.

Here are the Hugo winners for 2013. This should steer you toward award winning Science Fiction reading and in the last two categories, viewing.

Best Novel
Red Shirts: A Novel With Three Codas - John Scalzi (this is on my To Read list)

Best Novella
The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson

Best Novelette
"The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi" - Pat Cadigan

Best Short Story
"Mono no Aware" - Ken Liu

Best Related Work
Writing Excuses Season Seven - Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler and Jordan Sanderson

Best Graphic Story
Saga, Volume One, written by Brian K Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
The Avengers, written and directed by Joss Whedon

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Game of Thrones, "Black Water" written by George R. R. Martin

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Update on the Ray Garton gofundme project

Good evening constant reader.

I'm happy to announce that the $1500.00 goal of Ray Garton's gofundme for Ray's biopsy exceeded that amount and now sits at a healthy $2,281.00.

This not only covers the out of pocket expense for the procedure, it also covers the percentage to the gofundme site and leaves a little left over for Ray and his family.
This type of outpouring from people renews my faith in humankind.

If you were able to contribute, then good on you. If you weren't, but sent good wishes Ray's way, still good on you. Here's the link to Ray's website where you can find a complete bibliography of his work, and links to order them:
Home page of Ray Garton

Monday, September 9, 2013

Want a chance to help horror author Ray Garton? Here it is...

Good afternoon constant reader.

Horror author Ray Garton is one of those authors I'm thrilled to find on bookstore shelves and read when ever I get a chance. His work has never disappointed me. Known for the novels Live Girls (vampire strippers!), Crucifax Autumn (a really twisted little tale), Dark Channel (a bad cult run amok), Silver Scream (anthology bearing Ray's story "Sinema") and a slew of others, Ray needs your help.

From the gofundme page for Ray:
He suffers from a condition known as laryngopharyngeal reflux, or LPR. Similar to GERD, LPR sends stomach acid into the throat where it irritates the larynx and causes hoarseness, soarness, and a condition called globus pharyngis, which creates the strong sensation of a large lump in the throat. In the process of diagnosing him, the doctor found a white spot on Ray’s left vocal cord. It may simply be irritation from the stomach acid, but a biopsy is required to rule out cancer.

While an author’s career is marked with some benefits, great health insurance is not one of them. His out of pocket expenses for this necessary biopsy will total $1500.00, and hard times in this industry and a previous illness requiring three operations that wiped out their savings have left him and his wife in a tough situation.

We ask that you help our friend take his first steps back toward good health so that he may continue to do what he loves most and does best; sharing stories with you.

If you can help, please do. Every little bit gets them closer to their $1500.00 goal. As of today, they have $775.00, with only $725.00 left to go.
Here's the link: Ray Garton gofundme page

Monday, September 2, 2013

One of the best kept secrets in horror...James Newman

Good afternoon constant reader.

I want, to paraphrase Tom Waits, to tug on your coat about someone.
His name is James Newman. and he's a horror author.

I have not yet reviewed any of his work, seeing as how James is an established author, and I have more than enough first time author work to read.
But James is an extraordinary talent you need to be aware of.
I intend to review one of his early novels, Midnight Rain soon.

In the mean time, head over to James's website and see what there is to buy.
Skinny-Dipping In The River Styx
There you will find the following titles and the corresponding links to buy them:
Ugly As Sin
The Wicked
Midnight Rain
People Are Strange
Revenge Flick
The Forum
Night of the Living Dead
The Church of Dead Languages
From reading Midnight Rain, I can tell you James is a force to be reckoned with and you'll be able to find something here that strikes your fancy. On my To Read List is any of James's titles, but primarily, Ugly As Sin.