Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Character Interview: Lady Alexin Dumwalt of Joni Parker's Curse of the Sea


We’re thrilled to be talking to Lady Alexin Dumwalt from Joni Parker’s book Curse of the Sea. It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Alex.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m twenty years old and I’m the Keeper of the Keys for the Council of Elders in Eledon. If you don’t know where Eledon is, that’s okay. It’s located at the end of a wormhole some distance from the Earth. Eledon was created for the Elves by our Mentors when the mortals (you) kicked us out of the mortal world over eleven thousand years ago.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

Do I have to? My most distinguishable feature is this stupid blue hair in my ears. All Water Elf children have them until they turn one hundred when they become an adult. It’s so-o-o-o embarrassing.

What would I love the most about you?

I’m determined, a fighter and a soldier. If you give me a mission, I’ll get it done, one way or other.

What is your most treasured possession?

My grandparents made me a cloak pin out of the Arethus key. The key looks like the Arethus tree, similar to an oak but bigger. Its roots reach deep into the soil and help hold Eledon together and is often called the tree that never dies. The key opened a crypt that held the body of Lord Arethus, an Elf lord who was holding onto the Dragon key, a key so powerful it could kill a person if it was touched. He determined that the key was safe with me so he no longer needed to hold it and stay in the crypt. I know that sounds weird, but that’s how Elves are. I keep now hold the Dragon key in my pouch with the other Keys of Eledon.

What is your greatest fear?

Doing these interviews. I’ve only done one before. My author convinced me that it was good for me to come out of my shell. So here I am.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Yeah, she did a pretty good job. I’d prefer that she keep my thoughts to a minimum, though. Most people don’t need to know them. They’re private.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

I’m a loner and don’t make friends easily. I’m not unfriendly, just quiet.

Who is your best friend?

My best friend is Lila. She’s a Scinthian and married to my half-brother, Beren. I don’t know what she sees in him, but she’s in love. They have several kids already. I’m not sure how many because they keep having them.

Do you like to cook?  If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?

The only thing I know how to cook is coney stew. I prefer to hunt my own rabbits and cook them in a pot over an open campfire, but I’ll eat it any way I can get it.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

I’d find a way to get home to Eledon right away and spend the day with my grandparents. I may even ride over to see my half-brother and his family. The problem is this story, Curse of the Sea. I can’t get home right now because I’m stuck in London. They think I’m delusional. Get me out of here!

About the Author

Joni was born in Chicago, moved to Japan, and returned to live in Phoenix, Arizona. After joining the Navy, she lived in Lakehurst, New Jersey where she met her husband, a career sailor. They moved to Jacksonville, Florida, from there to Pensacola, Florida where Joni attended the university. Upon graduation, she returned to the Navy and was stationed in Naples, Italy. From there, the Navy sent her to live in a number of U.S. cities and even spent a year with the U.S. Army at their Command and General Staff College obtaining a Master of Military Arts and Sciences. Upon her retirement, she traveled the country in an RV with her husband until he passed away. She returned to the workforce living in Dallas until she discovered a passion for writing fantasy novels. She retired for a second time and now lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Website Address: http://www.joni-parker.com
Twitter Address: @ParkerJoni


About the Book:

Title: Curse of the Sea, Book One of the Admiralty Archives
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press LLC
Pages: 287
Genre: Urban Fantasy

BOOK BLURB:
A NATO training exercise goes terribly wrong when five warships from different countries are mysteriously transported to Eledon, the Realm of the Elves. The warrior Lady Alexin is charged to escort the troops back home to London in the year 2031 with the aid of the Wizard Ecstasy and a magic shrinking potion. Yet, when the authorities question her story, Alex is detained and imprisoned under suspicion of terrorism. Caught in a web of politics, betrayal and bungling bureaucracy, the confusing world of the future will push her magical gifts to their limit, and her own future will hang in the balance, caught between “justice” and the place she calls home.
                                                                                               

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Character Interview: Addison Shaw of Richard Hacker's DIEBACK





We’re thrilled to be talking to Addison Shaw from Richard Hacker’s Dieback.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Addison.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?

Thanks for having me. I’m twenty-two and for cash I pick up some work from my dad’s genealogy business—you know, clients he had before he died. This is just between us, right? I don’t usually talk about it, but my fulltime gig is being an Inker. I can see from your expression, you don’t know what I’m talking about. Let’s just say it involves an alchemical pen that let’s my consciousness enter the mind of someone living in the past. I know. Crazy. But it’s true. I’m part of a League that was put
together back in the 1800’s by a guy from the sixteenth century to protect the time continuum. Remember when the Incan Empire acquired technology for flight and pretty much took over half the world? Well, you don’t know about it, not because it didn’t happen, but because after the continuum shifted and the Incan Empire did take over the world, the League went back to the source of the anomaly to get the continuum back on track.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

Another thing I don’t like to talk about, but Richard says it will help me to be more open about things. I was in a pretty bad car accident—rolled a car in a snowstorm. My girlfriend…she didn’t make it. And I damaged my leg. So I’ve had a limp. Although since the robotic implant, you wouldn’t know. At least not in this time continuum.

What would I love the most about you?

My persistence. I just don’t know how to give up. I will keep fighting, keep struggling to survive. For all of us to survive.

What would I hate the most about you?

LOL. Well, Jules, my inking partner and on and off girlfriend would tell you it’s what I just said you’d love about me--my persistence. I don’t know when to let it go. We’ve had some pretty good arguments. And I admit, in my head I’m thinking, Addison, let it go, man. But the words just keep coming out of the mouth.

What is in your refrigerator right now?

Cold beer and that sandwich I picked up at Café DaVinci a couple of days ago. Hmmm. I should probably eat that before it walks out on its own. Oh, and I always keep a JavaJolt or two in the fridge for Jules.

What is your most treasured possession?

You’d think it was my Kronos comic book. I mean, it’s in perfect condition and #1 in the series. It’s worth some serious cash and I’ve had it since I was a kid. My dad bought it for me, so it’s pretty special. However, given what’s happening in the world, the time continuum and all, well I’d have to say my inking pen, Renascentia. It’s one of the five pens made by Johanne in the sixteenth century when the alchemist, Tobias Faryndon, started all of this. We have been through some pretty amazing things together.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Maybe a bit too accurately. I mean, would you want everyone to know your inner thoughts? The things you do, maybe things you’re not so proud of, but things that had to be done? He’s okay though. We’ve talked about it and he tells me if he didn’t share my dirt, I would come across as not very interesting and folks wouldn’t get what the League is about. Why it’s so important for all of us. And besides, it’s a social media kind of world. Who has secrets anymore?

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

A bit of a loner, I guess. Since the car accident, I kind of went inside of myself. However, now that I’m part of the League, I’ve got some solid friends. Nikki Babaneaux, who runs the League after my dad was murdered. And my inking partner, Jules McCullough. But the work I do keeps me from having much of a social life. At least in this present. Now you should have seen me at Versailles. I was the life of the party.

Who is your best friend?

Jules McCullough. I still remember the day I met her at a vintage vinyl shop near my house. Her ebony hair swept tightly back from her face, exploding into a Mohawk of red-tipped spikes. She had piercings in her eye brows, a silver nose ring, and white bone spiraling through her ear lobes contrasting against mocha skin. A tattoo ran the length of her right arm, a twisting vine of green leaves and yellow, orange, and pink flowers, disappearing into the short sleeve of a black Ramones tee shirt. She wore a khaki utility kilt with a silver studded belt slipped over her hips and black combat boots. She looked like a woman from another time and place—a fierce female Maasai warrior from the Tanzanian Serengeti.

I guess you can tell I’m into her. Yeah, we have our ups and downs. Man, some of the fights are epic. But I’ve been across time and space with her. We’ve lived…and died many, many times. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but I’d take a bullet for her. Come to think of it, I have.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

Considering what I do, that’s a pretty epic question. I absolutely know I’m going to die tomorrow. Actually, I died yesterday in the British Isles—impaled by a ninth century Viking in Carhampton, Somerset. And last week, a 1950’s cold war Russian spy garroted me. Not pleasant, but part of the gig.

What? Oh yeah, the question wasn’t tell me all the ways you’ve been killed for dieback—although it’s kind of important since it’s the only way I break the link with my host and get back to the present. 

Okay, what would I do if I knew I was going to die in my present. Like die, die. I would gather up Jules and a picnic and we’d sneak onto the roof of the Space Needle here in Seattle. We’d watch the sun set over the Olympic mountains and then I’d kiss her goodbye. Given the kinds of deaths I’ve had—stabbing, shooting, strangling, burning, falling, exploding—well, I’m hoping for something quiet that doesn’t involve tigers. Man, I hate being eaten by tigers. Really. Trust me on this. You don’t want to be tiger food. Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.

Hey, thanks for the interview, but Nikki’s giving me the eye. Think I better move along. Have a feeling our nemesis, Kairos, is trying to take control of the time continuum again. Talk about persistent. He is one persistent son of…yeah, well, better go.

For fun, go check out the trailer for the book. https://youtu.be/qesyHscyzNM And Richard tells me he’d love to hear from you. Visit his website, www.richardhacker.com and drop him a line.

About the Author

Richard Hacker is a longtime resident of Austin, Texas who now writes and lives in Seattle.

His writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. In addition to his writing, he provides editing services to other writers and is the editor of an online science fiction and fantasy journal, Del Sol Review. His three published humorous crime novels ride the sometimes thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. DIE BACK, his first fantasy thriller novel, has been published by Del Sol Press.

When not writing he’s singing in a vocal jazz ensemble, cooking with a sous vide and a blow torch, or exploring the Pacific Northwest with his wife and his springer spaniel, Jazz.


Twitter Link: @Richard_Hacker

Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/RWHacker 


About the Book:

In 272 AD Egypt, an enemy thwarts an attempt by League Inkers, Thomas Shaw and Nikki Babineaux, to obtain the Alchįmeia, a document holding alchemical secrets. Sensing his impending death, Thomas secures Nikki’s promise to keep his son, Addison, from the League, an organization
defending the time continuum. After his father’s death, Addison inherits a mysterious pen, accidentally inking himself into the consciousness of a man who dies on a muddy WWI battlefield in France. Hoping to make sense of his experience, he confides in Nikki, his best friend and unknown to Addison, an Inker. Keeping her promise to Thomas, she discounts Addison’s experience. 
Fixated on the pen, Addison inks into a B-17 bombardier in 1943. The pilot, whose consciousness has been taken over by someone calling himself Kairos, gloats over killing Addison’s father and boasts of plans to destroy the League. As Kairos attempts to wrest Addison’s consciousness, Nikki shocks Addison out of the Inking. She confesses her knowledge of  the League. When Kairos threatens to steal aviation technology, she she sends Addison and his partner, Jules, to an Army test of the Wright Flyer in 1908. Believing they have succeeded, they return to find the continuum shifted and Nikki knowing nothing about the League.
Inking back to his father’s mission in Alexandria, Addison and Jules hope to get his help in returning the time continuum to its original state. Instead, Addison’s father gives him the Alchįmeia to hide in a crypt at the Great Lighthouse on Phalos. On their return to the present a Kairos agent murders Jules, her consciousness Inked into the past. Addison follows the clues, Inking into Pizarro in 16th century Peru. He finds Jules in the child bride of the Inca emperor. His plan to find the technology and save Jules without destroying the Inca civilization is thwarted by a fleet of Inca airships. Captured, he is taken to Machu Picchu. With Jules help, they find the stolen schematics, but are confronted by Kairos. He stabs Addison, forcing Addison’s consciousness back to the present and traps Jules in the 16th Century. Addison returns to another altered world. Nikki no longer exists, the world is at war with the Inca, and Manhattan lay in ruins.
Addison Inks his father, learning the origins of the League. Thomas urges Addison to uncover their enemy with the help of his colleague, Maya. Putting suspicion on another inker,  Cameron, she insists he must be killing Inkers and acquiring Pens. In a final attempt to stop him, they entrap Cameron, only for Addison to discover Maya is Kairos, his enemy.  She kills Cameron, also wounding Addison.  He chases Maya, who intimates that she holds his mother’s, Rebecca’s, consciousness. Confused he delays, giving her time to scrawl a name with her pen before shooting her dead.

Inked away when Maya died, Kairos finds himself, not in his intended host, Hitler, but in a German infantry soldier POW in the Ardenne during the Battle of the Bulge, WWII. Hoping to repair the shift in the time continuum, Addison brings the League Pens together with the fate of the world and everyone he loves at stake. He awakens to a dissimilar world, but Jules and Nikki exist. And with life there is always hope.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

{Character Interview} Eszter from Alison Littman's Radio Underground





We’re thrilled to be talking to Eszter from Alison Littman’s Radio Underground.  It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Eszter. How old are you and what do you do for a living?

Age? Please, that doesn't matter. What matters is what I do – so thank you for asking, though you have to promise this will not get back to officials in my home country, Hungary. You promise? Okay, great. I am an underground journalist who relays intelligence to Radio Free Europe. I also run my own covert newspaper, Realitás. I really think this is going to make a difference – this news – in breaking us out of Soviet control. You wait.

What would I hate the most about you?

You should ask my husband Ivan that question. He’d say I’m risking the life of our family by doing what I do and fighting the Soviets, but I think it’s the only way to save us.

Where do you go when you are angry?

I go to my office to write.

What makes you laugh out loud?

Probably when Laszlo falls asleep on top of the newspaper he’s been editing for hours. His drool will drip onto the words and make them run down the page and onto his cheek. That’s funny, but so is seeing his face when he realizes all his hard work was for naught.

What is in your refrigerator right now?

Who knows? Maybe some jam. You’d have to ask Ivan.

What is your greatest fear?

That we won’t beat the Soviets.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

She did the best she could. Some days, I’m not even sure who or what I am. If someone can get close, well, that’s better than I can do.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

I’m not a loner, but my friendship circle is small because of what I do. I spend all night writing Realitás, and I work during the day, so I just don’t have that much time to socialize.

Who is your best friend?

Her name is Zsuska, but the secret police took her away in the middle of the night—just like that, can you believe it?—and I haven’t heard from her since. That’s why I’m doing something about this. For her, and for others who wanted something more than living, well more like dying, under the communist regime, and were punished for it.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

Exactly what I’m doing now—giving people hope that they could have something better. We have to fight for our freedom and I will pursue that to no end, even if means my end.

About the Author

Alison Littman lives in San Francisco where she’s a writer by day and standup comedian by night. A former journalist in New Mexico, she covered politics and education while also contributing articles on John F. Kennedy and The Beatles to various specialty magazines. Her feature stories focus on listening to rock 'n' roll behind the Iron Curtain and Cold War politics. Radio Underground is her first novel.


About the Book:

After years of suffering under the communist regime in Cold War Hungary, Eszter Turján—fanatical underground journalist—would sacrifice anything, and anyone, to see the government fall. When she
manipulates news broadcasts on Radio Free Europe, she ignites a vicious revolution, commits a calamitous murder, and is dragged away screaming to a secret underground prison.

Her daughter Dora, then a teenager, cowers in her bedroom as the secret police arrest her mother. Haunted and hurt, Dora vows to work against everything Eszter believes in. But, it’s not that simple.

After nine years, Dora meets a strapping young fan of Radio Free Europe and is unwittingly drawn back into Eszter’s circle. She finds her mother, driven mad by years of torture, is headed for death.

On the brink of losing Eszter again, Dora must decide if she should risk her life to save the mother who discarded her—or leave it to fate.

“A propulsive read and a timely reminder that maintaining our humanity requires courage as much as love.”- Kim van Alkemade, New York Times best-selling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl

“Littman’s debut novel is a delectable blend of history and heartstrings, sure to please the palates of literature lovers everywhere.”- Selene Castrovilla, award-winning author of Melt and Luna Rising

5 out of 5 star review from Readers’ Favorite

Radio Underground reads like a movie…A revolutionary tale written with style.”- Readers’ Favorite



ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Character Interview: Charles Hastings of Rob Kaufman's A Broken Reality




We’re thrilled to be talking to Charles Hastings from Rob Kaufman’s, A Broken Reality.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Charles.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?
Hi. I’m thirty-three years old and I work for a technology company that sends me out to people’s homes so I can fix their computers, laptops, tablets and whatnot.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?
I’m great at outsmarting people. Most people think I’m “ordinary”, little do they know there’s a lot more to me than meets the eye. And actually, I like to keep it that way.

What would I love the most about you?
I think you’d love the fact that I never intentionally try to hurt anyone. Of course, if someone does something to me or tries to con me in any way, I need to take action, but deep down, I’m a good person.

What would I hate the most about you?
You might hate that I do whatever it takes to protect myself and prove others wrong… and I mean “whatever it takes”.

Where do you go when you are angry?
I go to the shed, way in the back of my home’s backyard and look at all my “souvenirs” of past guests. I also like to clean my gun that I keep hidden back there. For some reason, doing those things takes a little of the edge off my anger.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Fooling people and watching them fall into my traps. People’s stupidity and ignorance is one of the funniest things on the planet.


What is in your refrigerator right now?
Half a bottle of Cherry Gatorade, leftover chicken and broccoli I brought home last night, a giant bottle of Cherry Coke, old, wilted lettuce, a half-filled bottle of Heinz pickles from last year sometime. But I have lots of stuff in the freezer, like frozen French fries and tater tots (Ore-Ida are my favorite), ice cream sandwiches and like ten frozen TV dinners.


What is your most treasured possession?
Danny’s coat.


What is your greatest fear?
That Daddy will come back to haunt me one day – not only in my dreams, like he does now, but in real life, like when I’m watching TV or at someone’s house fixing their hard drive or something.

What is the trait you most not like about yourself?
Sometimes I think I’m too nice. Everyone might think different, cause of some of the things I do, but I think I’m too nice. Yeah, that’s it. I’m too nice.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn’t. There were times when he made me look like I was doing something wrong or trying to hurt people. But that’s not the case… not the case at all. I treat everyone with respect until they do something wrong or try to destroy my plan. It takes me a long time to put my plans into action and when someone screws them up, they have to pay. There were times when Kaufman made me sound a little crazy. I didn’t like that… and I’ll tell you now, he won’t like the fact that I didn’t like it.

What are three must haves when shopping at the grocery store?
Tater-tots, ketchup and potato chips – the crunchy ones with those ridges, not those dainty, thin ones. Those are like eating paper.

If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would that be?
I’m a little overweight. Not a lot, but I could stand to lose about fifteen pounds. Then I’d be close to perfect.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?
I don’t really have any friends. That’s on purpose. I don’t like people. They don’t understand me. I’d rather be by myself or hang out with my special guests.


Who is your best friend?
Danny was my best friend. But not anymore.

What is your favorite weather?
I like rainy days. Hot, cold. It doesn’t matter. I like when it rains hard and I can barely see across the street from my living room window. It brings me back to the day I left home. Left home for good. Makes me feel proud. Rain makes me feel proud.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never thought about being something… just about getting away from Daddy and his stink. I dreamed about getting away. It didn’t matter what I did, as long as I was away from that place. That’s all that mattered.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
Walk into the forest and visit Danny.

About the Author


As a child, Rob Kaufman was always fascinated by the stories recited by those around him and the words used to tell them. As he got older, his need to tell his own stories grew, as did his ability to share them in exciting and captivating ways.

However, he wanted to share more than just stories. His primary desire was to create characters with whom people could relate, while at the same time bringing them through a journey from which most would crumble.

His degree in Psychology was the first step toward getting beneath the surface of the people in his life. What followed was a lifelong search for what makes people tick – what forces them to become evil when deep down in their heart of hearts, they are yearning for love. Rob’s characters walk this search with him, deep into the human psyche, creating psychological thrillers from every day events.

Rob’s second book “One Last Lie" continues to receive great praise and is selling well in both electronic and paperback formats. His current book, “A Broken Reality” is much darker than his first, with characters who hold bits and pieces of strangers he’s known, friends he’s had and personal tragedy he’s lived through.

“This book hits home for me,” says Rob. “There were a few pages that made me laugh out loud as I wrote them... and many that made me cry. And the great thing is, I’m finding that many readers of this book are experiencing the same emotions.”

Through social and other media, Rob hopes to get “A Broken Reality” into the hands of millions, so that they, too, can experience the ups, downs, twists, turns and final tragedy that has helped make this book a Five-Star contender.
Website Address: www.AuthorRobKaufman.com
Twitter Address: @RobKaufmanCT


About the Book:

Title: A BROKEN REALITY
Author: Rob Kaufman
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 320
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Psychological Thriller

BOOK BLURB:
On a fateful night in the dead of winter, an unimaginable tragedy changes the lives of two families forever. How will they manage to deal with reality while stopping the sociopath who is pushing them toward the edge of sanity?

Ten-year-old, Danny Madsen, has been missing for four days when Jesse Carlton begins his own search for his godson on a frigid, snowy night. Driving along a deserted rural road, Jesse hits a stretch of black ice at the same time Danny appears from the thicket. Unable to control the car, Jesse slams into the boy and watches helplessly as Danny's body flies back into the dark brush.

When Jesse regains consciousness, he has no recollection of how he and his car wound up in a ditch. However, there's a witness: Charles Hastings, the sociopathic kidnapper who chased Danny through the brush and into the path of Jesse's car.

Hastings takes this chance to set up Jesse so he'll take the fall for both Danny's disappearance and death. And so the mind games begin--an onslaught of psychological manipulation that devastates Jesse, his wife, Danny's parents and the cops' investigation. Inexplicably, the torment continues even after the primary suspect is killed and the rollercoaster of emotions and confusion seems never-ending until the final and devastating truth is revealed.

If you like gripping, suspenseful page-turners that keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, this is a must read!

{Character Interview} Buster of The Sheltering Palms by Preston Howard





We’re thrilled to be talking to Buster from Preston Howard’s book, The Sheltering Palms.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Buster.  How old are you and what do you do for a living? 

Well, I’m actually dead now, so it’s amazing that I am conducting this interview. I passed in 1972 from successive strokes. When alive, I was an attorney, what many people would call a “country lawyer” who wore suspenders, plaited pants, starched shirts, and quoted from famous philosophers like Socrates and from the bible.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features? 

My grandson Preston-----boy, he can sure write a great novel-----described my aqua blue eyes that would twinkle when I told a joke, my sonorous voice, my erect posture, slightly jutting jaw, and  great head of brown hair. Speaking of hair, Preston makes several jibes about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s hair…pretty damned funny if you ask me. Then of course there’s my Panama hat with the red and blue hat band, which weaves its way through the story as well.

What would I love the most about you?

I have a hell of a sense of humor and can tell yarns with the best of them. Some of my best stories revolve around my legal career, like the time I represented a bootlegger who was my personal alcohol-provided during Prohibition. Damn that sheriff for arresting him!

What would I hate the most about you? 

I like to drink a bit…no back that a whole bunch. Preston described me as a bourbon-swilling grandpa and there was a reason for that label. Also, I like to slink off to the hinterlands by myself much to my wife Anne’s displeasure; what I do during those times, well, that’s my own business.

What makes you laugh out loud? 

Anytime I tell a funny story that makes other people laugh, that’s a good day for me. And when someone tells me something hilarious, I enjoy laughing along as well, like so many of Preston’s yarns which are so sidesplitting that I sometimes have to stop reading for a bit until I calm down.

What is your most treasured possession? 

I have a Zippo lighter with an Army artillery insignia on the side that I carried with me during World War I when I fought under my hero Captain Harry Truman during the battle in the Argonne Forest and other campaigns. I would have followed “Give ‘em Hell Harry” anywhere; he was a truly great man and President, only Democrat I every voted for!

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? 

Preston portrayed me a little too well if you ask me. I would have preferred that he didn’t talk so much about me being a sot or my on and off relationship with my wife Anne, but as Gertrude Stein used to say, “A rose is a rose is a rose etc.”

What are three must haves when shopping at the grocery store? 

Once I am certain there’s 100 proof bourbon in the liquor cabinet, then all I care about are fresh oranges, lemons, Coke, and Ginger Ale. When I get home, my only interest is making the Tazewell Long Drink, which Preston describes so perfectly in the book. It is the ultimate cocktail, no other like in the world. As far as food for dinner, whatever the gals cook up, I’ll gobble it up with no complaint.

Who is your best friend? 

My best friend is a fellow lawyer over in Lafollette, Tennessee by the name of Boyce Griffin. Boyce and I worked a number of cases together, were heavily involved in east Tennessee politics, and were drinkin’ buddies. This one time we exchanged letters back and forth about who to support for a chancery judgeship; and I concluded my letter by reminding him of the recent case of Kivett versus Mason that ruled the Chancellor doesn’t have to be a lawyer, or have education, intelligence, or morals. I told Boyce, “We might even nominate you.”

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

I learned to play the piano at a young age and by the time I was an adult, pretty damn good on the ivories. My goal in life was to become a piano player in a swing band, and I would have been successful at it. But my dad disabused me of this idea and convinced me to join his law practice. Lawyerin’ was an honorable enough profession, but I always felt like it wasn’t what I envisioned for myself. In the book, I urge Preston to follow his heart, and not what others expect of him.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

Easy answer: drink about four of those Tazewell Long Drinks, chain smoke all day, and then sit down at my grand piano and pound out every blues song on my play list, finishing up with “Down Among the Sheltering Palms.” When I die the next day, maybe I’ll find out what’s on the other side.


About the Author


Preston Howard spent his entire career working on behalf of police officers, representing them under adverse circumstances, negotiating contracts to improve officers’ benefits and working conditions, and training police union officials in the art of leadership. He has written numerous books and lectured not only in this country but abroad as well.
His latest book is the fictional autobiography/historical fiction/satire, The Sheltering Palms.
Website Address:  http://www.prestonhowardauthor.com   
Facebook Address: Preston Howard - Author

About the Book:

Title: THE SHELTERING PALMS
Author:
Preston Howard
Publisher:
Preston Howard Press
Pages: 519
Genre:
Fictional Autobiography/Historical Fiction/Satire

BOOK BLURB:
Renowned police labor lawyer, Preston Howard, reached a watershed in his life—a forced retirement from the firm he built from the ground up and a cancer diagnosis. These two events made him take a step back and reflect over a life that had at times been hilarious, irreverent, self-mocking, eerie and even a bit, make that, quite lewd.
A family of unique characters guided the lawyer’s formative years: a bourbon-swilling, brilliant yet flawed grandfather who mentored the young lad in matters of religion, politics and the quest for knowledge; a psychic mother; an oversexed nanny; an aunt and uncle who fought on the front lines of integration; and a fire-balling uncle who got his fifteen minutes of fame in The Show.
Preston Howard first made his mark as a crime-fighting attorney representing the Tucson Police Department. Then he spent over forty illustrious years as a labor lawyer working with police officers and union leaders and handling the gamut of fascinating, high-profile cases across the country and even in other countries.
His many tall yarns might be viewed by some with the greatest suspicion, but his story-telling is undeniably first-class, witty, and absorbing.

PRAISE:
“The best book I’ve ever read about lawyers, cops, and unions.” Bob Helpert, Tucson, Arizona

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Friday, November 16, 2018

{Character Interview} Fyrndagas Underdel Dearth the Third of John Paul Tucker's Shelter Island


We’re thrilled to be talking to Fyrndagas Underdel Dearth the Third from John Paul Tucker’s, Shelter Island, Vol. 1 of The Song of Fridorfold.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview Fyrndagas…

You may dispense with the title. I am commonly referred to as Dearth, or Ghost of the Underworld by my enemies, which are plentiful enough.

How old are you, Dearth, and what do you do for a living?

It is for questions such as these I tried in vain to dissuade the author from subjecting me. I am older than you would believe, and am living well and long enough to answer such foolish questions.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

I am an Underdel, to be distinguished from the rather talkative and skittish Underdens. Plainly, to your kind, I am a rat. Not of the figurative type, of which there are many, but a creature with claws, sharp teeth and two blades crossed upon my back if tooth and claw do not suffice. This is the first and shall be the last time you will hear the pejorative three-lettered term, at least in my presence. Whatever you choose to use among your fellow Earth-dwellers is not my concern.

What would I love the most about you?

Very little, unless of course, you are backed into a dark corner, whose only means of escape is through a snake’s gullet. I can enter any stronghold I choose, confiscate what I require, and leave at my own convenience, skills which the Guardian of Husgard calls on regularly.

What would I hate the most about you?

I am smarter than you, quicker to enter a fray, more likely to survive, and have covered more territory than any folc of fur or feather on the Fragile Lands and Shelter Island — has the interrogation come to an end?
 
What is the trait you most not like about yourself?

I am too patient with foolish questions.

Where do you go when you are angry?

Underground.

What is in your refrigerator right now?

Whatever I found in yours — I will permit one last imposition.

What is your most treasured possession?

Ah! Better. The Hope and Song of Fridorfold.

If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would that be? Wait. Don’t leave. Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? Who is your best friend?

I am afraid our guest has left the building — through an air duct. That concludes our interview with Fyrndagas Underdel Dearth — the Third, the Ghost of the Underworld.


About the Author

John Paul Tucker holds degrees in Theatre and Theology and has many years experience as an Ontario Certified English Language Teacher, in addition to teaching mime, puppetry and Drama to teens and children. His unique journey has furnished him with an eclectic head of ideas.
                            
He is currently celebrating his 50th article on www.thewriterslessonbook.com, an educational website he created for writers, featuring writing tips and techniques harvested from the books we love to read. He has published poems in the Toronto Sun, Little Trinity Print Magazine and Imago Arts e-magazine. His poem City Sidewalks won first prize in a Toronto wide poetry contest. Two of his short stories, The Crooked Tree and The Debt Collector have each won a prize awarded by The Word Guild and The Prescott Journal respectively. You will find one of his fantasy stories recently published in the popular Hot Apple Cider anthology Christmas with Hot Apple Cider. JP has been busy polishing up The Rooster and the Raven King & The Rise of the Crimson King, Books II & III of The Song of Fridorfold trilogy, pursuing Cary, Clarisse and Gregory on their fantastic adventures.

John Paul is excited to be putting the final touches to his fourth novel, a YA fantasy inspired by the remarkable storyteller, George MacDonald. Gather the latest news about JP’s upcoming novels, enjoy a book trailer, dive into some free stories and poems, contribute some art work, take a peek at some photos, or for no other reason drop by to say hello at his official author website www.johnpaultucker.com.

John’s latest book is the middle grade fantasy adventure, Shelter Island.




About the Book:

Title: SHELTER ISLAND
Author: John Paul Tucker
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Pages: 224
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

BOOK BLURB:
Thirteen-year-old Cary and his sister Clarisse must return home every day after school to mind their eight year old brother, Gregory. “It’s a non-negotiable,” insist their work-obsessed parents. There is another problem. Clarisse and Gregory don’t like Cary much, and Cary doesn’t much like anything, especially being tagged with his gummy-fingered little brother. But their troubles are about to grow talons.

While bickering over the contents of a small, intricately embroidered pouch, the siblings unintentionally summon three mail-clad birds, who hasten their three young conscripts to Shelter Island, refuge to a long divided realm hidden from the children’s homeland for hundreds of years. Spotted above enemy territory, the small company is attacked. Clarisse and Gregory escape to the caves of Husgard. Cary’s captors dispatch him to Vangorfold, a centuries old stronghold sworn to Husgard’s destruction. Entangled in a centuries old conflict, the children’s own blur of problems comes into sharp focus, hastening the fortunes, for good or ill, not only of a forgotten civilization of birds, but of the children’s homeland.

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