Wednesday, April 30, 2014


 We welcome Colin Falconer, author of the romantic suspense, Naked in Havana to The Writer's Life!

Title: Naked in Havana  
Author: Colin Falconer  
Publisher: Coolgus Publishing  
Pages: 164  
Genre: Romantic Suspense  
Format: Paperback, Kindle


Book Summary: 

18 year old Magdalena Fuentes is lying naked next to her perfect lover when he tells her he is marrying someone else. It is soon clear her destiny lies with another man, even though she says she doesn’t believe in fate.

But fate doesn’t care whether we believe in it or not...

Havana, 1958. Magdalena Fuentes knows that Angel Macheda is the only man for her, even after he takes her virginity and then tells her he is engaged to someone else. She knows they are meant to be.

So why can she not stop thinking about Reyes Garcia? From the moment I saw you, he says, I knew there would be no one else.

From the moment I saw you, she tells him, I knew you were arrogant, conceited and rude.

Magdalena is a girl who will not let sentiment stand between her and love. But as Fidel Castro’s rebels tighten their grip around the city and she watches her family and her whole life come apart, she learns hard lessons about love and about life.

Against the backdrop of the boleristas and the gangsters, the music and the guns, Magdalena discovers just how dangerous love can be.

Naked in Havana is the first in a three part series, a sprawling epic of passion and destiny, stretching across three decades and two continents.


You want Havana?

I’ll give you Havana.

I have Havana right here, in this old photograph album I keep up here on the bookshelf. It’s a little tattered and the photographs are all black and white, I can’t even see them these days without my glasses. But it’s the most precious thing I own, apart from my wedding ring. Reyes had to smuggle it out for me. I don’t have much else left of those days. I left Cuba with the clothes on my back and not much else.

Here’s my papi. Isn’t he handsome? He’s standing outside his nightclub, the Left Bank, down on La Rampa. I was sixteen then. Yes, stunning - that’s what everyone says. Being beautiful is a blessing and a curse. When you’re young you think you own your beauty like you think you own your youth. You don’t realise that you’re just borrowing both and that someday life will come to take them back. Perhaps I would have done things differently if I was smart enough to know that.

Or perhaps not. What a lowdown, spoiled bitch I was. You really want to read this? Don’t. Do yourself a favour, find some other book to read, because I swear, you’ll want to throttle me when you learn the things I did. But I learned my lesson. Take some comfort in that; life paid me back, in full.

Here’s my mother. I didn’t know her well. She died when I was ten. We are on the Malecón, by the sea wall, back in the early fifties before everything went to hell. Look how she’s holding me. She must have loved me but I can’t even remember her face now, not without this photograph to remind me.
People treat you like a princess, because they love you, because you’ve lost your mother. And because your daddy’s rich, you think it’s always going to be like that. But life always finds a way to keep us honest, that’s what I found anyway.

And if life doesn’t, death will.

But I got lucky. Reyes Garcia came along, and changed everything.

But first there was Havana.

About the Author:

Colin Falconer was born in North London, and spent most of his formative years at school playing football or looking out of the window wishing he was somewhere else.

After failing to make the grade as a professional football player, he spent much of his early years traveling, hitch-hiking around Europe and North Africa and then heading to Asia.

His experiences in Bangkok and India later inspired his thriller VENOM, which became a debut bestseller in the UK and his adventures in the jungles of the Golden Triangle of Burma and Laos were also filed away for later, the basis of his OPIUM series about the underworld drug trade.

He later moved to Australia and worked in advertising, before moving to Sydney where he freelanced for most of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines, as well as working in radio and television.

He has over 40 books in print. HAREM was an enormous bestseller in Germany and THE NAKED HUSBAND was only kept out of the number one spot in Australia by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. AZTEC stayed on the bestseller lists in Mexico for four months. He is a bestseller in Europe and his work has sold into translation in 23 countries around the world.

He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz. He also completed a nine hundred kilometre walk of the camino in Spain.

He did not write for over five years following personal tragedy but returned to publishing in 2010 with the release of SILK ROAD and then STIGMATA. His historical novel ISABELLA was an Amazon bestseller last year.

His likens his fiction most closely to Wilbur Smith and Ken Follett – books with romance and high adventure, drawn from many periods of history.

His latest book is the romantic suspense, Naked in Havana.

Visit his website at

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Man's Rejection of God: Who's Responsible? by RL Keller

Title:  Man’s Rejection of God: Who’s Responsible?
Author: RL Keller
Genre: Religious/Spirituality
Paperback: 161 pages
Publisher: WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing (March 2014)
Paperback ISBN-10: 1490821481
ISBN-13: 978-1490821481
Hardcover ISBN-10: 149082149X
ISBN-13: 978-1490821498
Kindle: 9781490821474/ASIN: B00I5076TU

Purchase at AMAZON

Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi has been quoted as saying “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” This is a sad indictment of the Christian community as a whole.  Is it true?  Are believers in Christ the reason people keep their distance from Judeo-Christian beliefs and the God we embrace?  I feel there’s no question that we’re partially to blame.  In this book I touch on a wide variety of topics, but in the end call out Christians to immerse themselves in a time of reassessment as we all strive to be more genuine and consistent in our faith.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A: Interview with Erotic Paranormal Romance Author Dawne Dominique

We welcome Dawne Dominique to PUYB Virtual Book Club!  Dawne is here to talk about her new erotic paranormal romance series, The First.  The First series included Eden's Hell, Dark Dairy, Kindred Blood, Crimson Cries and her latest, Surrender!  

More about Dawne:

A multi-published and award-nominated author of paranormal erotic romance and fantasy, Dawné Dominique’s novels instantly hook readers until that last page is read. 

Although published in the US, she’s a Canadian author through and through. The second novel of her vampire series, Dark Diary, II: The First, is set in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she resides with her family, and Gunkers, a stray cat she recently saved, and Chumbly, their newest addition to the feline household.

She embraces life with one simple rule: “Everything in life happens for a reason, be it good or bad, and it’s because of this we learn to never take anything for granted.”

Her latest books are in The First Series: Eden’s Hell, Dark Dairy, Kindred Blood and Crimson Cries.

Drop by to pay her visit at: or

Welcome to the book club, Dawné!  Can you tell us how you got started writing erotica paranormal romance and fantasy?
Dawné: Would you believe it was because of a writing contest? *chuckles* The prompt was to write a chapter length story about a unique vampire. What began at about one thousand words soon evolved into five full length novels. Because my characters are vampires (and wolves), I knew there would have to be sex in it. So I joined an erotic writing forum on my writing site and learned all I could.
You're also a very talented cover artist.  How did you get started in that and do you have a link to where we can see some of your book covers?
Dawne:  *blushes*  Thank you. I became a cover artist because of the way I was treated by one of my first publishers. The experience was horrid, but because of it, I self taught myself photoshop.  The rest is history. I've been doing cover art for over ten years, and I believe that being an author gives me a better edge to the creative process because I think like one. Before I send a draft out, I ask myself one question: "Would I want this as my own cover?"
Can you tell everyone a little about your The First series?

Dawne: The First series blends biblical facts and fiction to give readers a logical explanation as to where and how the first vampires and wolves came to be.  Eden's Hell, the novel which begins the series, was nominated for an EPIC because of its uniqueness. It's definitely not your ordinary vamp series.  : )
I know this will be a little hard to do with all four, so let's go with your first book, Eden's Hell.  Can you tell us a little about the main characters?
Dawne: Eden's Hell is set in California in the late 1980's. Addison Eden is a silent producer of movies, and a recluse vampire who doesn't care in the least for humans or vampires. Eva Carr is an innocent woman who's tricked into signing the Illy'ra, a blood contract, to be Satrina Vacher's "pet" for one year, which is basically being a surrogate cow to an insatiable vampire. After that year is up, if you've served her well for those twelve months, then you've earned the right to become a vampire. If not, you're dead. However, Satrina and Addison have a torrid past. They used to be married, and there's certainly no love lost between them. Her character is someone you love to hate. She's just plain evil. And she doesn't play by the rules. They're bound by a bible called the Illuminatae, the very first bible ever written by God and Asmodeus. One of the greatest sins is to veil (turn) a human against their will. That's why there's an Illy'ra. When Addison finds Eva running for her life along a section of his beach, he does something he's never done before. He saves her. Just who Satrina and Addison really are and why they're vampires is the premise of the novel—and the series. Unfortunately, Eva stepped into the middle of a nasty divorce that's lasted for eternity.
Can you give us a good excerpt from that book?
Dawne: A foul breeze followed Addison’s steps and with it came the usual stench of lower L.A. His nightly prowls in this end of town had always proved fortuitous. More times than not, he strayed to the Garden Grove district, a haven for low-end prostitutes and addicts. The evil scourging Californian streets had more than tripled in ten short years. Whatever happened to the roads lined with swaying palm trees, beautiful clear skies and movie star mansions? Sure, some were still here, but pollution and crime continued to grow like an infectious disease, and like New York, nothing stopped it from spreading. By far, this district was his favorite hunting ground.

A street corner whore leaned in front of an entrance of a five and dime motel, trying to score her next fix. From a window upstairs, her baby’s pathetic mewling carried down the dimly lit road. To say the neighborhood was seedy was giving it credit. He walked unhindered, shrouded in a spell of shadow and drifting unaware past people. His presence was nothing more than an icy shiver down someone’s spine, invisible to all except another vamp, and those creatures stayed as far away from him as possible, if they knew what was good for them.

One could purchase anything here for a price, even blood. The pickings were more than enough to gluttonize even a vampiress like Satrina, but she preferred a higher class of tastes and wouldn’t be caught hunting in a neighborhood like this. That insufferable bitch. Blood is blood, no matter what side of the tracks it comes from.

Thoughts of his ex made his mood even fouler, and the implications of what he’d done struck home. What’s the definition of irony? he ridiculed. I have a pet.

His boots followed a weed-filled gaping crack in the sidewalk toward a less populated section of the ‘hood long since abandoned except for the usual dregs and sinners like him. The night was oddly quiet, aside from the wails of police sirens, which was a common occurrence in this part of the city.

Would Satrina be stupid enough to invoke Excaedo Pactum? His sigh bounced off the abandoned buildings emblazoned with splashes of spray painted gang tags. Who are you calling stupid, you fool? What the hell did I just do for a human? Why would I even risk such a thing? He stopped and ruefully shook his head. “Eva Carr, what have you done to me?” he muttered.

What books do you have coming up if any?
Dawne:  I'm writing that last chapter of a fantasy novel called The Tears of San'Ferath and hope to release it by summer. It's about the lands of Allanoria, with Druids (who are good) and Druid Evoluntines (who are evil). After mage'ic starts to disappear, soon all the mage'ical creatures begin dying.  When there's only one dragon left, San'Ferath, the last Druid, Setharuis Berthannia, invokes a spell on him called The Undying Sleep in the hope of  preserving whatever miniscule amount of mage'ic is left. He's foreseen that one day Allanoria will take back her gifts. Then the Blue Fever sweeps through Allanoria and begins wiping out the humans. Sadly, the prophesy of "The Cleansing" has begun. Some five hundred years later, a freelance mercenary, Cethland Mer'Morellis, and a dancer, Anea Fieblekorn, hold the key to restoring the land's mage'ic; however it's an evil Druid Evoluntine who wakes San'Ferath. 
What would you like to tell your fans and readers?
Dawne: I'd like to apologize for the wait for Surrender ~ Sins of the Father, V: The First, which is the final book to The First Series. That book has to be right, so it's taking a little longer than I anticipated.  Hang in there though.  I promise it won't disappoint. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Shu: The Gnostic Tao Te Ching by Thomax Green

Title: The Shu: The Gnostic Tao Te Ching
Author: Thomax Green
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 110
Genre: Spiritualism
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Author Thomax Green has produced a compelling new book so cosmic in its scope that it has the power to change readers' lives. THE SHU:  THE GNOSTIC TAO TE CHING is a “modern-day Gnostic work which blends all faiths and sciences into a super belief,” Green says. “With this belief system, you can be a faithful individual without the restrictions and classifications that are imposed by religious groups. In short, it is the way to freedom and happiness.”

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

PUYB Virtual Book Club: Q&A with Kevin Hopson, author of 'The Landfill'

Prior to hitting the fiction scene in 2009, Kevin Hopson was a freelance writer for several years, covering everything from finance to sports. His debut work, World of Ash, was released by MuseItUp Publishing in the fall of 2010. Kevin has released several other books through MuseItUp since then, and he has also been published in various magazines and anthology books. Kevin’s writing covers many genres, including dark fiction and horror, science fiction, and crime fiction.
His latest book is The Landfill.

You can visit Kevin’s blog at

Thanks for coming to the book club today, Kevin!  What drew you to the YA dark fiction genre?

Kevin: I grew up loving dark fiction as a kid, so it’s no surprise I started out writing in this genre. However, it wasn’t until recently that I began focusing on a younger audience with my work. I’m the type who easily gets bored, so I like to mix things up every now and then, and writing a young adult piece was a nice change of pace for me. It’s actually encouraged me to write more stories aimed at children and young adults. 

Your book, The Landfill, was inspired by watching an episode of Haunted Collector.  Can you tell us more?

Kevin: Haunted Collector (in case you’ve never seen it) revolves around haunted items or personal possessions that have some sort of spiritual energy tied to them. Once they’re removed from a house, building, site, etc., the strange activity usually subsides. Anyway, there is a certain item in The Landfill that is tied to this type of energy. I won’t say what it is or how it relates to the story, though.  

Can you tell us a little bit about your main character, Billy?

Kevin: Billy is a high school senior and a good kid overall. He’s experienced two very significant losses in his life, including his younger sister. As a result, Billy has battled depression and is looking for rejuvenation, which he seems to find in The Landfill.

Is he a sensible type of kid or full of adventurous pursuits at every turn?

Kevin: He’s actually both, but the adventurous part can get the better of him at times, thus overshadowing his sensibility.

They say every book of fiction has a pivotal point where people just have to keep reading.  What’s yours?

Kevin: I think it’s the first time Billy and his friend, Connor, visit the Landfill. The story gets really interesting and moves at a nice pace until the very end.

The Landfill is your seventh book with MuseItUp Publishing.  Can you tell us about your others?

Kevin: World of Ash was my debut book with MuseItUp Publishing, and all of the others leading up to The Landfill were important stepping stones for me. When I look back at my earlier works, such as World of Ash, Earthly Forces, and Early Release for Bad Behavior, I can see how inexperienced I was at the time. I think I started to change as a writer with my fourth and fifth books, Three Miles Below and Earth Ablaze, and I can say the same thing about my most recent releases as well. I think we truly grow as writers, and you’re never at a point where you can’t learn more. Each time I write a new story, I feel better about it than the previous one. Sometimes I wish I could go back and re-write a lot of my older works, but I know without them I wouldn’t be the writer I am today. If I had to recommend one of my prior books, it would be Three Miles Below. It’s about three men who are trapped in one of the deepest mines in the world (three miles deep) and have to find their way to the surface. Readers really seem to enjoy this story, but people either love or hate the ending. It can really come out of nowhere and surprise you (good or bad).

What’s next for you, Kevin?

Kevin: I have a sci-fi novella, Shifting Alliances, scheduled to come out this fall by MuseItUp Publishing, and I just finished my first ever dark fantasy (young adult) story, which I hope will see publication as well.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not by D.S. McKnight

Title: Of Dreams and Shadow
Author: D.S. McKnight
Publisher: Stone Bay Press
Pages: 286
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

We live.  We die.  Is there anything more?  Jenna Barton is about to find out.  After moving to the coastal North Carolina town of Parson’s Cove, Jenna has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child.  Unfortunately, the predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession.  With a little luck and a bit of paranormal help, Jenna might survive.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE


Invitation by Christina Hoffman

Title: Invitation
Author: Christina Hoffman
Publisher: Christina Hoffman
Pages: 187
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Madison Spencer is a serious medical student, focused only on work and hiding her beauty and her once-passionate spirit behind a quiet plain-Jane facade. Since she was drugged, stripped, assaulted and photographed by a vengeful ex, she has stayed away from men and kept her heart and body safe.

But when heart-stoppingly gorgeous Dr. Liam Mason walks into her world, she knows she's in trouble. After finding out about her devastating past, Liam offers to bring her back to life with physical passion.
Madison thinks she should be repelled, but she's intrigued and can't turn him away. Together they explore days and nights of pleasure, and slowly develop into something more than bedmates.

Deep inside they each wonder if they've found their perfect match. But with Liam's fear of being dragged down by commitment, and Madison's fear of being hurt by another man threatening to destroy the world they’ve built together, will they each be strong enough and brave enough to risk their hearts to have it all?

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Forced to Love by Sky Alexander

Title: Forced to Love
Author: Sky Alexander
Publisher: Rising Phoenix Inc.
Pages: 140
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

FORCED TO LOVE is the newest book in Sky Alexander's series The Fires of Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection).

"Inspiration can come from anywhere, but nothing is more uplifting and irresistible to me as a new Sky Alexander novel. This is one of my new favorites, (with FORCED TO LOVE) Sky Alexander shows his unique writing style that reminds us of how great historical romance and western romance can be written that reminds you of classics but with new addictive twists that are uplifting and intriguing in The Fires of Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection). Hattie really shows that through thick and then love for your family is one of the most important things." ~Heather Goodreads

FORCED TO LOVE is spell-bounding and one of my new favorite historical romance stories that is sure to be around for a long time. You must read this!" ~ Juanita Goodreads

Hattie Morran is a poor dirt farmers daughter in
Missouri. Suddenly Hattie finds that her life is changed in the blink of an eye and she is forced to love Abner Garland. Now her Western Romance which is purely a façade for show and to save her family will soon come to an end.

"But what about their anger?" Hattie asked. "Jess and Abner will be furious."

"Furious doesn't even begin to describe how they're going to react. Even though I probably shouldn't, I am going to set them up with handsome allowances. What can they do? I'm of sound mind. So, Miss Hattie, when you marry Abner, I will give you nine-tenths of my fortune, and the remainder will be yours at my death."

From the moment that you are brought into the book you will be immediately part of the western romance in the middle of the south. The Fires of Love & Hate Series will keep you right in the middle of a tale that is based on some true and historical events. This Historical Romance series is sure to be you're new favorite.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Contempt of Court by Ken Malovos

Title:  Contempt of Court
Author: Ken Malovos
Genre: Legal thriller/mystery
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 23, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1484159454
ISBN-13: 978-1484159453

Kindle: B00GJXAY4Y

Purchase at AMAZON

Sacramento trial lawyer, Mike Zorich, is finally coming to grips with the death of his wife from cancer five years ago. There is a new woman in his life.  His son is making his way in the business world. His law practice is going well. And he has a new case that promises to be very demanding.  Members of the Darnoff wine family are at odds with each other, amidst a divorce and partnership dissolution.

Then things go wrong. Mike becomes the target of some unexplained personal attacks.  He is mugged on the bike trail and his house is ransacked. Is it someone connected to the Darnoff case?  Is it an old client from his years in the Public Defender's Office?  Is it some disgruntled witness from a trial? To top it off, Mike is held in contempt of court and remanded to jail.  The attacks continue and only get worse. The authorities don't have a clue. Can Mike figure it all out before someone is killed?

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Heart of a Woman: Reclaim, Release and Renew by Shaneka L. McClarty

Title: The Heart of a Woman: Reclaim, Release and Renew
Author: Shaneka L. McClarty
Publisher: Shaneka L. McClarty
Pages: 96
Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Are you a single woman who is tired of the roller coaster ride of relationship problems? This book captures the essence of a woman's heart after a painful break-up. Readers are led on a journey from pain to purpose; no more dating drama and no more emotional sacrifices.

Author Shaneka L. McClarty is a licensed therapist and a relationship expert. She provides insightful steps to help women unpack their emotional baggage, reclaim the strength that's needed to walk away and re-position their hearts for authentic love with a real man. Get ready to open up your heart to reclaim your power, release the pain and renew your mind to get the man that you want. 

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Naked in Havana by Colin Falconer

Title: Naked in Havana
Author: Colin Falconer
Publisher: Coolgus Publishing
Pages: 164
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Paperback, Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

18 year old Magdalena Fuentes is lying naked next to her perfect lover when he tells her he is marrying someone else. It is soon clear her destiny lies with another man, even though she says she doesn’t believe in fate. 

But fate doesn’t care whether we believe in it or not...

Havana, 1958. Magdalena Fuentes knows that Angel Macheda is the only man for her, even after he takes her virginity and then tells her he is engaged to someone else. She knows they are meant to be.
So why can she not stop thinking about Reyes Garcia? From the moment I saw you, he says, I knew there would be no one else.

From the moment I saw you, she tells him, I knew you were arrogant, conceited and rude. 

Magdalena is a girl who will not let sentiment stand between her and love. But as Fidel Castro’s rebels tighten their grip around the city and she watches her family and her whole life come apart, she learns hard lessons about love abd about life.

Against the backdrop of the boleristas and the gangsters, the music and the guns, Magdalena discovers just how dangerous love can be.

Naked in Havana is the first in a three part series, a sprawling epic of passion and destiny, stretching across three decades and two continents.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Friday, April 25, 2014

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A + Book Giveaway with Nina Amir, Author of 'The Author Training Manual'

We welcome Nina Amir to PUYB Virtual Book Club! Nina is the author of THE AUTHOR TRAINING MANUAL and is taking questions about writing or publishing all day long.  Leave a comment or question in the comment section below and she will be more than happy to answer your questions or reply back to your comments.

Plus, she's also giving away a copy of not only THE AUTHOR TRAINING MANUAL but HOW TO BLOG YOUR BOOK, too - great prizes just for leaving a comment!

This giveaway begins today at 7 a.m. ET and ends at 11 p.m. ET.  One winner will be chosen for each book and will be announced on Monday, April 28.  The winners must reside in the U.S. and be over 18 years of age. Good luck!

More on Nina:

Nina Amir, the Inspiration to Creation Coach and author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, transforms writers into authors. She inspires people from all walks of life to create books that positively impact readers and to develop careers as authors, achieve their goals, and fulfill their potential. Nina is a sought-after nonfiction developmental editor, proposal consultant, and author, book, blog-to-book, blog, and results coach. Some of her clients have gone on to sell 300,000+ copies of their books and to land deals with major publishing houses. She writes four blogs, has self-published 12 books and is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge. 

You can find all of Nina’s blogs by visiting her main website,

About The Author Training Manual:

Anyone can publish a book and become an “author,” but if you want to become a successful author with a profitable publishing career, you need a clear, step-by-step guide to help you develop book ideas that sell. In The Author Training Manual, expert editor and book coach Nina Amir reveals the exact process successful authors have used to create business plans and proposals for their books and teaches you how to view your ideas through the eyes of acquisition editors and literary agents.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, plan to traditionally publish or self-publish, The Author Training Manual provides you with the tools you need to achieve your goals and become the author publishers and readers want. Inside you’ll find concrete steps, evaluations, sample business plans, in-depth training activities, editor and agent commentaries, and much more – all designed to help you stand out, from the slush pile to the shelf.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Humor Writer A.K. Turner

A.K. Turner is the author of This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store, Mommy Had a Little Flask, and Hair of the Corn Dog, as well as a coauthor of Drinking with Dead Women Writers and Drinking with Dead Drunks. Her work has been featured in various publications and anthologies, including Folio Literary Magazine, Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, and I Just Want to Be Alone. A former writer-in-residence and creator of “The Writers’ Block” on Radio Boise, she lives in Idaho with her exceedingly tolerant husband and two daughters.

Learn more at

Thanks for joining us at the book club, A.K.!  I am thoroughly loving your latest book, Hair of the Corn Dog.  Can you tell us about yourself as a humor writer?  Where did you get your start and what else have you written that’s humor?

A.K.: I knew I wanted to be a writer long before I knew I wanted to be a humor writer. I think that's fairly common. You have to spend time and ink finding the
genre in which you best fit. When I read work by David Sedaris, Sloane Crosley, and Laurie Notaro, I knew I'd found my place. These are writers who see funny where others might not. I really appreciated that and knew it was what I wanted to do as well. I had the good fortune to meet Laurie Notaro before publishing my first book and she definitely gave me an added dose of confidence. The first book in this series is This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store, followed by Mommy Had a Little Flask. Hair of the Corn Dog is the third. Before these books I was also lucky enough to work with friend and publisher Elaine Ambrose and together we wrote Drinking with Dead Women Writers and Drinking with Dead Drunks. Beyond that I've written columns, blogs, and essays, two of which can be found in Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana and I Just Want to Be Alone

Where do you get your inspiration and do you keep your family and friends in stitches?

A.K.: Inspiration comes from looking around, because life is inherently funny. I have a dry humor, so I'm not necessarily the comedian at the party. Some of my friends and family read and love my work, while others do not, and that's absolutely fine. My brand of humor is not for everyone. 

The stories in Hair of the Corn Dog – are they from personal experience?

A.K.: It's all me and it's all true. Every word. 

Let’s say others want to follow in your humor footsteps.  Where should they begin?

A.K.: The first thing to do is to read other work and recognize what type of humor you appreciate, because that's the type of humor you should write. I'm not a fan of mean humor and no matter how much I may poke fun at other people in my work, I always make sure the ultimate joke is on me. 

Getting involved with local writing groups and workshops is always a good idea. Writing communities can be incredibly supportive and motivating. And, of course, just give yourself permission to write things that may not be funny. You have to get it all down on paper before you know which parts fall flat and which ones are the gems. 

If you could write something other than humor, what would that be?

A.K.: I've toyed with many genres and haven't ruled out anything. I'm kind of a deep dark sicko inside, and my husband thinks I'd do well with horror. But I have the lurking fear that writing horror might just make me more of a deep dark sicko. Humor is a way of balancing out my negative side. 

What’s your idea of fun on a Saturday night?

A.K.: Taking my kids out for pizza. Coming home, putting the kids to bed, then getting mildly drunk on the couch and watching a comedy with my husband. And if you're mildly drunk, it doesn't have to be a "smart" comedy. And if you're really drunk, it should definitely not be a "smart" comedy. 

A man walks into a saloon.  There’s a barmaid propped against the bar reading your book.  What does he say to her?

A.K.: Hopefully he says nothing. Because he's put off by the fact that her laughter has caused her to snort her drink all over the front of her blouse. And she doesn't care because she's having so much fun reading that she'd rather just continue doing that than have to deal with his crappy pick-up lines. 

Your kids want to bring you in for show and tell.  Is that a good idea?

A.K.: Probably not. We had some neighbor kids over for a play date and at one point all of the kids began drawing pictures. An eight-year-old girl approached me with something she'd drawn for me. I looked and it was a picture of a book with the title This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store, which was my first book. She'd drawn my own book for me! I was both honored and horrified. I thanked her but told her not to go around talking about liquor stores because she might get in trouble. And just as a disclaimer, I don't leave my books around for children; she remembered the cover from her mother's bedside table. 

LOL, thanks for coming, A.K.!  We wish you much, much success!  What’s next for you?

A.K.: Thank you! Later this year my family and I will travel to Spain, Australia, and ultimately end up in Tasmania. I plan on chronicling every gory detail of the trip. I'd like to begin a new series that has a strong emphasis on travel. I've included chapters on Mexico and the Jersey Shore in my other books, and readers have responded well. Getting out of your own backyard makes for great material.