Tag Archives: writer

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing book review

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, By Hank Green, is the first book I read in 2019 and the first book I finished in its entirety in quite a long time! (you can watch my TBR here).

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing follows April May, an aspiring young artist in New York City. One day April stumbles upon a giant metal samurai statue and makes a video with her friend Andy. Overnight the video goes viral as the world discovers these statues have popped up all over the world and are presumed to be alien.

I love this book. I never review books I don’t like because I don’t finish them. Well, I finished this one in five days flat. It may help that I laughed my ass off a lot, and that rarely happens with books!.. I am a long time fan of the Green brothers and the work they do. My first book, Blackout, had “DFTBA” a nerdighter reference in the first pages. Picking up this book I was preparing for a read similar to John’s style and was pleasantly surprised that Hank has a much different style of writing; almost quicker, adult oriented, and more personal. The standout for this book to me is just how modern it is as well. The characters make YouTube videos, converse through Facebook, and worry about their Twitter followers. It merges the written word with modern life and technology like I haven’t seen before.

AART is about the contact with these alien objects, the reaction of humanity, and the conflicting hate/comradery that comes with all this. But, all of this is more of a vessel for what I see as the real point of the book… Fame. April comes in to fame almost over night. Despite what she wants, she is consumed by the fame and loves every moment of it. She wants more of it, and she needs more of it. Hank Green himself speaks about this from a first person perspective and seeing an honest portrayal of the hunger for fame people have is awesome.

I legitimately see myself picking this book up again to read a second time. You should check it out.

Death Do Us Part: PRE-ORDER available!

My new novel, Death Do Us Part, will be releasing on both paperback and ebook on February 1’st. HOWEVER, you can pre-order the ebook right now for only $3.99 on Amazon. It will be downloaded to your device immediately on the first. Death Do Us Part is my third published novel and easily my favorite of all of them (though they’re all great, trust me, I’m unbiased). Here is the link and back cover synopsis…

Amazon link

Not all love stories are happy. Not all tragedies are sad. Not everyone is exactly how they seem, and not every story goes exactly how you would think.

For Mark, life was easy, and he was content… He had no way of knowing he was truly empty inside until he stumbled upon something that made him feel more alive than ever before. Once he felt that way, he could never go back.

A modern tale of love, sex, murder, and everything in between.

Thank you to everyone for the support, whether you purchase the book or not!

John Green books: Best-Still good

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(I would just like to say that ALL of his books are fantastic and he has been my biggest inspirations as a writer)

An Interview with Paul W. West (Author of Bridgetown High)

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Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a “Prune Picker,” though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

The rustic San Francisco Bay Area countryside, the quaint small town in which he grew up, and the colorful people who once lived there, have all teamed to fertilize his ever-churning mind with stories that are yearning to be told.

From his earliest days in high school, his English teachers saw some raw writing ability in him, both for fiction and non-fiction, and urged him to pursue his dream of being a writer. In college his creative writing professors also encouraged him to mold his ability into a talent.

After settling on a career as an environmental biologist, where he’s written numerous technical publications, the stories swarming through his mind kept crying to get out. So Paul began writing fiction, but only as a hobby at first. He has recently finished his first novel,Bridgetown High, and is working on his second. Paul intends to keep letting his stories out through future novels.

Most importantly, why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself?

Originally I’m from a small town in Northern California called Port Costa. I attended the small, 3-room, grammar school there until the ninth grade, when I went to the much larger high school (John Swett High School) in the neighbouring town of Crockett.
After graduation, I attended Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California until the Vietnam war made me enlist with the U.S. Air Force. I served in the AF for nearly 4 years and spent most of that time in Germany. After discharge, I attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where I met and married my wife.

I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Range Science and a minor in Wildlife Biology. I
worked in Oregon for a short time, but now we make Taylorsville, Utah. We have four children, two and two, and 14 grandchildren.

What has your career as a writer been like?

Frustrating. My novel “Bridgetown High” has garnered several great reviews. Everyone who has read it has loved it. However, few people are aware of its existence. So, a lot of my spare time is spent marketing.

What do you aspire for the future of your career?

I would like to write more novel, many of which are currently swimming around in my head, including a sequel to “Bridgetown High.”

What are you working on at the minute?

A sequel to “Bridgetown High.”

What genre do you typically write and what draws you to it?

I love historic settings. I grew up near an old railroad terminal at the end of a railroad town, with historic buildings and houses. Even as a youth, my home town combined with the rustic San Francisco Bay Area countryside, and the colorful people who once lived there, all teamed to fertilize my ever-churning mind with fictional stories that are yearning to be told. From my earliest days in high school, my English teachers saw some raw writing ability in me, both for fiction and non-fiction, and urged me to pursue my dream of being a writer. In college, I had creative writing professors who also encouraged me to mold my ability into a talent.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I got serious about being published several years ago when the idea for Bridgetown High
wouldn’t let me go. So, several years ago, I realized I could write during my lunch breaks and began penning some of the early scenes that did not become a part of my novel. Over the years, I’ve kept up with my writing regimen of writing for a half-hour a day until I finally finished and published BridgeTown High.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

No. I just try to find a quiet half-hour and put pen to paper, or keyboard to computer.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I really do prefer paperbacks or hard back books, but I find a lot of my recent purchases have been for the electronic versions

Do you have any advice for young writers?

Yes. Come visit my blog on web site (www.paulwwest.com). I have been giving writing ideas and suggestions in my blog entries titled “Everyone Wants To Be An Author.”

What is your favorite book and why?

Oh, wow. There are so many. Aside from the Holy Scriptures, Jack London was my first mentor. I could name off numerous other authors I’ve tried to emulate including John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Richard Paul Evans, Dean Hughes, James Mitchner, and many others.

Favorite movie adaptation from a book?

After I’ve read the book, I rarely go to see the movie adaptation. I really prefer to read the story. However, I enjoy a good WWII movie such as “The Longest Day.” I also love drama movies if it’s not over done. Even though the current TV shows are largely police, detective, etc., and are totally fake, I enjoy the personal dramas depicted in them anyway.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14438236.Paul_W_West

http://www.paulwwest.com/

 

Tough Sh*t book review

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Tough Shit, but with a star I guess, so Tough Sh*t is a memoir by Kevin Smith. And, if Mr. Smith is reading this I mean ABSOLUTELY no offense, but holy fuck was I surprised at how good this was! I didn’t know much of anything about Kevin Smith before reading this. My knowledge of him was that he was Silent Bob, a nerd, liked hockey, was annoying, and talked about his fatness. Which, isn’t necessarily untrue, I just have a lot of respect for him now and see the depth of his career and intelligence. Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good (hell of a title) tells Kevin Smiths story from Childhood on. He tells you, in his own voice, about his trials and tribulations as a director/writer and he goes as far back as Clerks, giving you the run down on his entire career along with the doubts he had in himself, and the relationships he had. This book was meant to be inspirational to it’s readers, and tell the story of Kevin Smith. It achieved both of those things very deeply with me, which I was not expecting at all when I picked it up as a casual read. It may not be that interesting to anyone who is not a fan of Kevin Smiths, which I am NOW, but I was not before. What I do love though, is the film industry. Obviously, I devoted an entire blog and a good part of my life to it! Hearing him talk about it passionately, stirred my passion as well, and if you love movies or film, it will do the same for you.

American Holdovers (my third novel)

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June 17th everyone! The Day is here! AMERICAN HOLDOVERS IS NOW RELEASED! You can find the book on the Createspace site right now (where I publish my books through). Amazon and the kindle store within a few days, and bookstores across the country in 4-8 weeks! I have included a link below.
American Holdovers is my third published novel and chronicles not only my time, but, also my many friends and fellow holdovers during our time as a holdover at Ft. Jackson during a hurricane and the consequences and events that transpired because of this a couple years back.
https://www.createspace.com/5959013

True Memoirs of an International Assassin movie review

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So, I have a different opinion of this movie than it appears most people did. I liked it. Sure, it wasn’t the funniest comedy in the world, nor the most action-filled action movie. However, it was original, gave me some laughs, and I STILL love watching the everyday-man that is Kevin James kick some ass (referring to Here Comes the Boom)! True Memoirs of an International Assassin follows writer Sam Larson. Sam has  poured his life into writing an extremely accurate book where his alter-ego, Mason Carver, is an assassin. When he publishes the book it gets told as a non-fiction and he gets sucked into a shit-storm in Venezuela where people assume he is truly a deadly assassin known as “The Ghost”… When I write it down it sounds super impractical and far fetched, which it is, but, I promise you the movie handles something like this the best they could!.. I may be biased as a writer but my favorite parts of this movie are him writing his story, talking about his process, and when his mind runs through what he would do IF he were his alter-ego. He is joined by a DEA agent who helps him along the way, played by Zulay Henao. Zulay does a good job for what she is meant for, yet is overall a very 2D character… This is by no means an award winning movie, I won’t lie to you, however, I had a fun time watching and I think you will too (especially if you too are a writer!)

 

An Interview with A.C. Efverman (Author of Game)

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Swedish crime fiction author A.C. Efverman was born in Stockholm, year 1972. She lived and worked in many countries before she finally settled in Australia in 1996. During her time of travel she saw and experienced a lot – in one horrific moment she had a gun pointed at her head. She writes from her experience of being a victim of crime, as well as drawing from her extensive imagination, plus many hours’ research of real life murderers, police procedures and forensic data. Her novels contain the same main characters and the stories are set in her adopted home town Sydney. A.C. Efverman is also an artist – she is a graduate of Stockholm School of Arts – and she utilizes her artistic view of the world in her writing. Her books are available world wide in both English and Swedish.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have always written stories since I was a child; I started out by writing novellas and poetry. I then started reading books by Agatha Christie when I was about eight years old and I also read real life crime stories in my grandmother’s lifestyle magazines at about the same age – and looking back at it, I think that this sparked my interest in crime fiction. I started writing many novels when I was in my late teens, but at that time I had started travelling the world, so I left many unfinished manuscripts in my wake… and it wasn’t until I had settled in Australia that I finished writing a crime fiction novel – a book that was published in Sweden year 2002.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

When I have a deadline I keep a strict schedule of when I write and do my research – when I don’t have a deadline; the time spent writing is more scattered…

What genre are your books?

Crime fiction / Mystery / Thriller.

I understand you are a Swedish author. Is the Swedish market any different than the English?

Yes the Swedish market differs from the English speaking market in my opinion. Swedish readers grow up with Scandinavian Noir (like I did) and they are more open to the cold and realistic way us Swedes tell a story.

Is it difficult to translate your own books?

No it’s not difficult, as I know my stories inside out – but it’s very time consuming.

What inspired you to settle down in Australia?

I travelled the world by myself for six years and worked and lived in many countries – Australia was my favourite country of them all and I when came back to Sydney in 1996 I met my husband. You can work out the rest…

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I start with an idea of a plot – and from there the story grows constantly in the back of my mind.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

For me it was natural to write a book series – I have created characters that need to live on. I do have an idea for another story that wouldn’t involve my main characters, but that book will have to written further down the line as I’m completely immersed in this series for now.

Can you tell me about the time you were held up at gunpoint?

I came to Australia for the first time in 1994 – and I landed in Perth. A few days after I had arrived, I went to the beach – it was a windy mid-week day and there was no one else on the beach. In fact, it was so windy I had to take shelter among the sand dunes; and I had been sitting there for a while reading, when I looked up and saw that a young man was running down a sand dune towards me. I remember thinking that he was good looking and that it was odd that he was running straight towards me but he wasn’t looking at me. When he reached me he still didn’t look at me, but he took a gun from his shorts pocket and held it to my head. I just froze in sheer terror and fright. But then the guy turned his head slightly and stared at something behind me and I turned my head and saw that a middle aged man was jogging towards us on the beach. The guy then put the gun back in his shorts pocket, turned his back on me and ran up the sand dune. I sat there and watched his back until he was gone and then I ran down on the beach, but the middle aged man was gone; there was no one there – so I kept running on the beach until I reached a kiosk; where I asked the man who was working there if I could use his phone to call the police. The police came and they took me in their car, cruising the area to look for the man – but he was nowhere to be seen, so they took me to the police station where I gave descriptions of both the young man and the middle aged man. The police then told me that both of these men were suspects in a string of rapes that had been committed under gun threat in the local area! I suppose that the middle aged man had jogged on the beach towards us to warn his partner that someone else was coming – but I can’t be sure of this, or why the men didn’t carry out their attack on me; and I never will know.
I left Perth a few days later, feeling lucky to have escaped unharmed. A few years later I heard on the news that young women had started going missing in that same area in Perth and it was later revealed that they were victims of a serial killer – a killer that still hasn’t been caught… With all the research I do on serial killers, I know that most of them start out as serial rapists and I have a disturbing thought that I could have ended up in a shallow grave in Perth if the timing had been different…
I will say this though: this experience – and other experiences I have had the misfortune of experiencing whilst travelling – have taught me what it feels like to be a victim – and I recall these feelings when I write about the victims in my books.

Ever thought about branching out into other genres?

No, I write crime fiction only. It’s a genre that I love: both reading and writing.

What are your ambitions for the future of your writing career?

I plan to write more books in my series ‘DS Morgan Callaghan’ – and I can’t wait to see what else happens to my characters! And, as I mentioned earlier; I have an idea for a different kind of book – but it’s still crime fiction.

Favorite movie adaptation of a book?

Perfume: the Story of a Murderer – both the book and the movie were outstanding!

If you like what you have heard, and why wouldn’t you, you can check out  A.C. Efverman and pick up her new book here…

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14391148.A_C_Efverman

 

Silver Linings Playbook movie review

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Based off the book of the same name, Silver Linings Playbook is my all time favorite movie, and one of the few movies that has ever hit me on a deep and emotional level. Silver Linings stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, both agreed to do this for very little money because they loved it so much! Silver linings follows Pat (Bradley Cooper), and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence). Both have multiple severe mental illnesses, and are at a constant struggle every single day. Pat, after having a break down from his wife cheating on him, went to a psych ward. The movie starts as soon as he is released, having a new outlook on life and a Two goals; To get his wife back, and find a silver lining to everything. That’s where Tiffany comes in! Tiffany recently lost her husband in a car accident that she blames her self for, and than lost her job for “sleeping with everyone in the office”. Tiffany agrees to send letters from Pat to his Ex, if he helps her win a dance competition. To me, this movie is simply brilliant. It takes mental illnesses and people who have suffered tragedies, turning it into a very real and beautiful love story with characters most films are afraid to use. I understand there are a few scenes that make people uncomfortable, but those are all very real and because of that, uncomfortable. Silver linings also features big names, that really add to the movie, including Robert De Niro and Chris Tucker. De Niro takes a role you wouldn’t expect him to ever play and nails it, escalating the movie even more. Tucker has a small role, but brings life to the few scenes he is in. In the end Silver Linings, though unconventional and difficult to watch at times, is a very real and beautiful movie. I highly recommend it.