Saturday, 27 August 2016


Gian Andrea was once born Italian, before he moved to the United Kingdom. Writer, painter, he holds a Bachelor degree in Literature and History with honours, and a Master degree in Philosophy with honours.
Wanderer and passionate about languages and cultures, he often travels across Europe, visiting their major cities and their artistic heritage. 

Back to the time when he was better known for his physique, rather than his brain, Gian was a kid that grew up in a small town of central Italy, lying next to a lazy lake.
Spending most of his time alone, drawing, painting or reading anything that had some words printed on it, his family got quite concerned that the kid would became a skinny outcast.
So they pushed him to play some kind of sport.
Jumping from one sport to another, he first got interested on Swimming. (But the lake was too dirty, -he said, and the pool too small).
So he became really keen on Athletics, Running, mostly (but after a while, he realized that he had been running for hours every day, without actually going anywhere). Next, he started playing Basketball (but hey, we're in Italy, -he said, here everybody's supposed to like Football; and I'm not even that tall, after all, -he said). Feeling like he had yet to find the right sport that'd suit him well, he began practising Karate.
(That will do, -he said! but when he realized he could not beat people up for real, once again, he decided to quit). In the meantime, he joined the gym, and that seemed to be fine for a while.
He had the perfect excuse to:
-eating seven times a day like a pig,
-going around with extra-extra-large clothes although he wasn't a rapper,
-working out in a place full of pretty girls.
Eventually, in his early twenties, he was sure he'd became somehow a pro in that industry.
(Hell yeah, I'm big! I'm strong! -he said. Then, during a preparation for a powerlifting competition, he got injured, and he had to quit again). In the meantime, University got started, and right after the first couple of classes of Philosophy and Literature, his mind was finally clear.
(Why would I even work out in the first place? -he said).

The rest as they say, is a work in progress.
 
 

 

 

Excerpt from the interview
 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START WRITING?
 

As a passionate reader first, and philosopher as well, I always found writing an excellent way to investigate the world around you and the human nature, as well as your own.

There's nothing quite like writing, putting your thoughts on paper, to help you trying to figure out the meaning of this existence, or at least, to live it properly.

I believe it's a sort of necessity, - as writing, like painting and any other form of art -  deeply affects our life and daily choices, more than we may suspect.

Most of my favourites books, can be read as a work of physiology, digging inside our mind, - cause after all, writing is passing a life's lesson.
 

 

WHAT'S YOUR WRITING PROCESS? 

Truth be told I don't quite have a writing-schedule, nor a specific method, mostly because of work reason.

But also because I don't think I entirely fit inside the plotter category: for instance, my first novel took me years of work, and by the time it was finished - it was something utterly different from what initially meant to be.

I generally have a blurred idea of what I'm going to write, usually let it settle for a while, and then I begin to put it on paper whenever I feel like.

At this stage, I might already have changed my mind about how the story is going to proceede, which particular direction it's going to take - but that's all part of the game!

It worked out well for my second, semi-biographical, work - that started as a fiction book and ended up to be a sort of memoir.

Reading and re-reading over and over, I also think it's primarily important.

I often leave the book's draft over the desk for while, days or weeks before re-reading it, - and do this until I think it's ready to be read by someone else.

I write everything down on my laptop - but when it comes to editing, I need to have those words printed off on real paper, in order to make any necessary adjustment by pen. Then, type it again on my laptop - and so on and so forth till you're satisfied with what you get. 

 

HOW DO YOU INTERACT WITH YOUR CHARACTERS? 

Even at the cost of sounding cliche, I simply put myself on their shoes.
I mean, what else can you do? Whether you're writing in first person (which I personally often use), you're mostly likely writing about characters based or inspired by people that you know, or that you made research on.
 
 Even when you write the most fictional character, you have got to someone/something in mind, - where everything get a start, let's say,-  it's the way imagination works.

So, simply, try to think what they would say, how they would act, and let them be themselves.

To answer even more precisely, I don't talk or listen to them, I just observe them in my mind - as they're alive, right in front of me.

 

WHAT  SUGGESTION WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WRITER? 

The one I take for myself: write about what you know, what it truly matters for you, and write it simple and clear and don't spare anything.

There is no such a thing as a good subject or a bad subject for a book:

if you manage to convey your passion, as well as your message, it's half of the job done.
 

HOW DID YOU GET PUBLISHED?
 

I always knew what I wanted to do, I just had to decide how.

So, - after avoiding vanity publishers - I tried both way, collaborated with a couple of editors and publishers - and eventually had better results with self-publishing (even in terms of sales.)

Though I think it may be, just because I haven't found a good one, yet.

But I did like the idea of being in control of every single aspect, from marketing, cover design, title to lines spacing, layout and any little details.

It was time consuming, and I was working frenetically around my laptop pretty much all day long - but the feeling I had when I published the first edition of my first novel was just incredible!

The worst part though is, - you're in control of literally everything:

which means at a certain point you'll have to relay on someone else to help you out: a good graphic designer, editor, promoter etc.
 
 

 
Thank you Gian for being our guest this week on the Scribbler.
 
To discover more about Gian's books and writing, visit these links.
 
 
link AUTHOR PAGE  amazon.com/author/agida 
link AGIDA  https://www.amazon.com/Agida-Gian-Andrea-ebook/dp/B01DCFSA4C?ie=UTF8&qid=1464022392&ref_=la_B010YQHW8C_1_2&s=books&sr=1-2
link GOODREADS https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14170074.Gian_Andrea
 
 Please feel free to leave a comment below. Just click on the "Post a Comment" link in red and you can be the first. Thank you for visiting.
 

 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

4Q Interview with Author Chuck Bowie of Fredericton, New Brunswick.


Chuck Bowie is the welcome guest this week for the 4Q Interview on the Scribbler. This is Chuck’s third visit. Previously he shared excerpts from his international thriller novels featuring the dashing and clever sleuth Sean Donovan. Chuck lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick with his wife Lois. His love for music, fine wines and delicious food are passions he brings to his novels. Terrific plots, great dialogue and plain good storytelling will keep you turning the pages of his books. If you missed his previous visit, please go here. 


 

4Q:  Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts Chuck. Was becoming an author something you dreamed about when you were younger or did it just happen one day?

CB: I’ve always considered myself a writer, and began writing to entertain others when I was in grade school. After several years of selling tourism articles, short stories and then essays as a young adult, I tried to write a romance novel. I was about eighty pages in when I discovered I didn’t really have the heart—no pun intended—to write in that particular genre. I then wrote a wonderful (to me!) speculative fiction manuscript about the near-future. I’ll re-write it, one day, as the idea still ‘has legs’, as they say in the movie business.
 


4Q: We all know that Sean Donovan is the central figure in your thriller series. How did he materialize? Did he come first or did the story come first?

CB: Donovan magically appeared to me one night while I was sleeping, but in fact, it was the story that came first. I was in Romania on business and the concept of a thief for hire came to me. The notion of a fellow—and a Canadian guy at that—with the skill set to separate people from their possessions, was an interesting idea. An incident at that time caused me to develop a character I’d dreamed of; a guy who wasn’t too big, wasn’t too young or old, and who carried around his own version of right and wrong. I put the character with the plot and the first novel began to write itself. He’s a complex guy, so I still find him interesting in the fourth novel.
 

4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote or memory.

CB: As a teenager in a small New Brunswick hamlet, I was a bit of a loner. One fall afternoon just before dusk I went hunting for partridge. I headed across a long field where the farmer had missed the second cut of hay, and was quite a ways from home when I noticed my cat had been following me through the tall, yellow grass. So I let him come along.


 
I sought out an opening in the forest and followed a road that had grown over, until I came to an ancient house that had caved in upon itself. I was almost there when I spied a ruffed grouse in the apple tree growing beside the ruin. I dropped it with one shot from my .22, but it took flight. It had got four feet from the ground when I saw a grey flash leap into the air, taking it down. Then I had to have a chat with my cat to determine whose, exactly, it was. But my mom was waiting for supper meat, so I asserted myself and we brought it home to eat. My cat never forgave me for that.

 

4Q: Now tell us about your latest work. What is Donovan up to?

CB: My third novel in the series is called Steal It All, so you can perhaps guess what happens. It occurs to me that readers can often guess who my bad guy is, long before the climax, but I pride myself on pleasing the reader with all kinds of hooks, tricks and twists as the book pulls the narrative arcs together.

Steal It All takes place for the most part in the rougher neighbourhoods of Manchester, England, although there are scenes in Niagara, New York City, London, Bucharest, Constanta and The Lake District. So I indulge in my usual jet-setting travels! The book opens with a murder in the Canadian Embassy in London, and from there we follow a thief, an RCMP detective and a Scotland Yard inspector as they try to solve a murder. But things get complicated, and Donovan is a tough fellow to keep focused. There are many twists and turns, and we come to care deeply what happens to each of the characters in the book. I think the ending is a barn-burner! I hope the reader will as well.

Steal It All is available now as an eBook. It will be available in paperback early this fall. You can order it, as well as Three Wrongs and AMACAT, from Chapters-Indigo, Amazon, and from my publisher: MuseItUp Publications.
 



 
 
 
 

Thank you Chuck for being our guest today.  Having read the first two stories of your series, I’m looking forward to catching up with Donovan’s antics in Steal It All

Find out more about Chuck and his books here.
 
 
I am so thankful for the many readers that visit the Scribbler. If you look below and see the small red print that says "No comments", click on that and you can leave a note. Tell us what you think!
 

 

 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

A Work-In-Progress by Allan Hudson

Historical fiction has always appealed to me when looking for a new book to read. I think that Bryce Courtenay does it the best as well as James Michener or Edward Rutherford, all great story tellers. These terrific authors are an inspiration and I hope to emulate their style of writing.


The main character in my first two novels is Drake Alexander. He lives in New Brunswick Canada and his grandfather on the Alexander side comes from the United Kingdom. His grandmother is an Acadian from a small village on the east coast of Canada.



My third novel tells the story of the Alexander family, beginning in 1911 in Govan, Scotland and spanning the next 24 years. It is an unedited work-in-progress.

I would like to share the beginning and get some feedback. Any comments would be appreciated.



1

 

Autumn                                                                      Govan, Scotland.

 

Lucretia Alexander is about abandon her middle child, Dominic.  Where she is going, she cannot bring him. She is poised on the wide front stoop of her brother-in-law’s house, draped in sorrow.  Her father waits in the cairt which he has pulled to the side of the street. Her hand is raised to rap on the faded wooden door but she lingers. Looking at her eleven year old son Dominic, at her side, almost as tall as her, she sees the uncertainty in his eyes. Like her heart, her will is almost broken. She yearns to hold him, to cling to him, to carry him away from the sadness they both feel. Biting her lower lip, the need for him to survive strengthens her resolve. She knocks firmly upon the door.

The sun is setting over the roofs along the street, detail is lost to silhouettes. A cool breeze whispers around the corners, it carries the scent of iron and oil from the shipyards Govan is famous for. The two horses pulling the cairt prance, unfamiliar with city sounds and the odd automobile on Govan Road where they turned on to Waterville Row. The street dead ends a short distance from River Clyde.  The river is deep and hosts an abundance of shipyards. It separates the municipality from its bigger brother Glasgow. Ibrox is to the east and the borough of Renfrew is to the west. 

Robert Alexander, Duff to his buddies, is leaning one-handed against the back of the house, staring bleary eyed at the vomit on his new shoes, Florsheims that he paid 2 pounds sterling for yesterday. He has to work a whole day for these. The pansies at his feet are covered with the frothy remains of a once damn-tasty haggis. It failed the taste test miserably coming back up.

He wobbles but stiffens when he hears a rapping at the front door. Straightening up he guesses its Jacky Boy and Tubs, come to see if he has anything to drink. Pulling a wrinkled, stained hanky from left front pocket of his trousers, he swipes the spittle from his bearded chin, flips the fabric over and honks his nose. He bellows with a raspy slurry voice.
“Hold yur peckers you dumb lads. I’ll be along in a shake.” 

Lucretia stops rapping, a frown scrunches up her narrow face. Placing a hand on her hip she turns to Dominic.
“The bugger is drunk.”
Dominic is snickering, he only heard “pecker”. His brother Tommy told him what a pecker is last summer.  Tommy didn’t know why they call it that but is certain his big brother wouldn’t tell him a fib.  Lucretia pokes her son on the shoulder with her free arm.
“Behave! “
Tugging on the fabric of his coarse shirt, she starts towards the walkway.
“Come along, I think we should forget this and…”
Her directive is interrupted by Duff staggering along the dirt driveway, coming from behind the house. He’s trying to tuck his loose shirt in but can’t get the edge around his ridiculously red suspenders. He stops two tentative steps towards the front walk of fieldstone sunken in the neatly clipped lawn. Forgetting the shirt he closes one eye to focus on the two bodies on his stoop. They’re about twenty-five feet away. Expecting a rotund Jacky Boy and taller Tubs he is surprised when the image clears. The porch is in shadow with the sun behind the houses across the street. He only sees the outlines. Both are thin, one is wearing a dress. The other is a step or two behind the dress. The dress has one hand on a hip. Why does he feel like he’s going to be scolded?

“Robert Alexander! You should be ashamed of yourself. I know you’re a man of an odd drink, but as long as I’ve been related to you, I’ve never seen you this drunk. Look at you. You can hardly stand up.”

Duff perks up, the lilt of his favorite sister-in–law is warmly recognized. He opens his eye, spreads his burly arms open.
“Lucretia, my dear, did you finally leave that no good brother of mine. Duff is here to rescue you…”

Motioning for Dominic to remain, Lucretia walks down the two steps to the walkway watching Duff shuffle along the flat stones. When he is halfway he stumbles on the edge of a larger stone that frost has lifted and yet to be fixed. The unbalance causes his arms to cartwheel, like one of those lawn ornaments of a man in a boat.  His forward drunken momentum, powered by enthusiasm propels him, head down, directly at Lucretia’s feet. His temple and right ear are the first to connect with the stone in front of her. He is unconscious upon impact. The thud of his bulky body causes the horses to stir. Old man Watson, tugs on their reins and whistles a melancholy tune he made up for them. The familiar trill calms the pair. Lucretia, steps back one pace in shock, both hands on her face and exclaims with a high, alarmed voice.
“Oh goodness, he can’t be dead too?” 

2 

Lucretia bends over the inert form of her brother-in-law that is lying on his side, arms outstretched. She gently pushes him onto his back and places a hand on his chest.  Finding the even rise and fall of his lungs she sighs. Looking up at her son, she points at the front door.
“Check and see if it’s open.”
Dominic turns to twist the knob and the door swings inward on silent hinges.
“Aye, ‘tis.”
“Get yourself down here then and give me a hand with this sorry sight.”
Dominic joins his mother on the pathway and when he slides his hands under the shoulders of his uncle’s supine form, Duff stirs and bats his hands away. Momentarily disoriented Duff sits up rubbing his scalp where flesh met stone. Lucretia backs off a little and Dominic stands beside her facing the stunned man, their backs to the house.  A welt grows on his forehead. His hand comes away with a drop of blood on the index finger.
“Damn, me head hurts. What did you hit me with Lucretia?”
Clasping her hands in front of her, chin up as if insulted, she regards him with distaste.
“I didn’t do a thing you silly fool. You slipped on that cobblestone and landed on your face. You scared the life from me man. Can you get up?”
Eyeing the boy in front of him he scratches his head.
“Who’s this lad? Can that be wee Dom?”
“He’s not wee anymore Duff. Now c’mon, let’s get you into the house and I’ll tend to that scratch on your head.”

Waving to Dominic, the two get their hands under Duff’s arms and wrestle him to his feet.  He wobbles like an infant that’s just learned to stand up. Dom holds him under one arm, a smirk on his face, knowing better than to laugh. Straightening out his loose shirt, Lucretia helps him tuck the errant edges in when she catches a whiff of Duff’s liquor laden breath. She scrunches her nose. Turning him towards the front door she comments on it.
“You’ll be wanting to gargle with something sweet and I’ll be getting some tea in ya.”
The two steps up to the porch and entering the house requires Duff’s full attention. Shrugging off his assistants, he uses the wall of the hallway that leads to the kitchen in back. 
“Why would I be needing tea? S’better to have another tot of that whiskey inside.”
Following him closely, she urges Dominic along with a wave to get behind his uncle in case he loses his balance. Pausing while her middle child, the quietest and most obedient of her seven children, helps the man into a two armed wooden chair at the table, she dreads what she must do. Trying not to cry, she clears her throat.
“You’ll want to be sober when you hear what I have to ask you?”
 
 
 
 

Thank you for dropping by the Scribbler today. As I mentioned above, any comments would be welcome.


Next week, we are happy to have returning author Chuck Bowie of Fredericton, New Brunswick for the 4Q Interview. A world traveller, an interesting gentleman and a talented author.


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Guest Author Marcia Weber Martins of Germany.


Marcia Cristina Martins Weber was born in Petropolis, Brazil in 1964. She graduated in physiotherapy by Catholic University of Petropolis. In 1983 participated in the Anthology "Our Poets II" with the poem "If I could" and in 1986 in the anthology "Brazilian Poets" with the poem “On any given day.” In 2005 she moved to Germany and wrote her first novel, "Perfect Match". Her links are listed below.
 
 


Following is an excerpt from her novel.

Copyright is held by the author. Used by permission





                                                        Chapter 7

 

Mary regained consciousness and opened her eyes, but the blindfold kept her in the dark. Her parched mouth made impossible to swallow and the gag hurt the side of her mouth. Every muscle of her body protesting from being in the same position for a long time, she moved to a more comfortable position, which proved to be difficult, with her hands tied behind her back and her ankles tied together.

Dizziness clouded her mind. She didn’t remember what had happened to her. Her heart started beating fast and loud against her ribs and her breath became irregular.

Mary Walker, you are in big trouble but it isn’t time to panic! Breathe, Mary, deep and slowly, she ordered herself. Again, breathe.

She took several long and deep breaths, in an attempt to calm down her heart. She was quite sure that if it continued to pound in that crazy rhythm it would break her ribs. It slowed down and she concentrated on the recent events. Where I was and what happened? A noise startled her and her heart started to gallop again. She listened carefully in an effort to identify it. A door was open. She would say it was very close to her, and heavy footsteps came in her direction. Her body stiffened and cold sweat rolled down her face.

She shivered as strong hands grabbed her arm to help her sit, and took off the gag. He, she supposed it was a man, gave her water. The cold liquid was a relief for her dry mouth. The relief didn’t last long, the gag covered her mouth again and she was left alone in the darkness.

Bit by bit she put together what she had done the day or hours before, she didn’t know.

I was at the library. I was late but have to stop to buy dinner. Yes, a man asked for directions and the other man had a gun. And then it went dark. Questions started to pop up. How long I was unconscious? Where am I? And she realized that whoever had done it might know that she hated to be in the dark, that not having anything to do was enough to drive her crazy.

She supposed it was hours later, she heard the door open and footsteps coming in her direction again. It wasn’t the same person, this one had light footsteps. It was incredible how sharp she could hear with her vision blocked.

He took off the gag and the blindfold, and the rope from around her wrists and ankles. The room was poorly lit; the light came from a single lamp dropping from the ceiling. Still Mary blinked several times for her eyes to get used to it.

She slowly flexed her muscles. Every inch of her body ached. He let her go to the toilet and gave her something to eat and to drink. Her annoyance increased.

If he uses a hood to hide his face why do I have to be blindfolded all the time?  she thought. She didn’t dare to ask anything, his hoarse voice and aggressive tone told her not to. She did what she was told. While she ate, she looked at where she was. It was a small room, with one window painted black not letting the day light in. She couldn’t know if it was day or night. The place had seen better days. It was dirty; a dick layer of dust covered the floor and the walls, except one that was made of wood and was new. The place was stuffy and smelled moldy. Mary felt bad, the smell was nauseating and the tiny room was claustrophobic.

There were two doors, one that led to the lavatory and one that meant her freedom. She stared at them. You don’t have any chance to escape from here even if you weren’t tied up, she concluded sadly.

This ritual was repeated three times a day by two different men. The rest of the time she was alone with her thoughts. She forced herself to believe that soon she would be out of the dark and claustrophobic room. To keep her strength she had to believe that soon she would be with her family again. Sometimes the fear and the agony were stronger and negative thoughts assaulted her mind, but she made herself ban them away. She forced herself to eat although she wasn’t hungry and the food’s taste was dubious. She needed to keep strong.

She had lost track of the time completely, but she supposed it was the third day she was there. The man with the hoarse voice came with a telephone and a sheet of paper. He dialed a number and waited. Mary was sure that he had called her family. Her pulse went crazy; a mix of emotions invaded her heart. Determined to make her family believe that despite everything she was alright, she held back tears. After a few rings someone answered. The man held the sheet of paper in front of her and ordered her to say exactly what was written, not a word more.

It was enough to hear Mark’s voice for her fragile control to slip. Tears streamed down her face blinding her.

“Read,” he demanded impatiently.

She brushed the tears with the back of her hand and looked at the words. But the words that came out of her mouth were not the words that were written. Furious, the man slapped her face twice.

Mark heard her low cry and his pulse began to pulse erratically.

“Mary, what is going on? Are you hurt?” Mark shouted desperately.

After three long days of agony and uncertainty it was a relief for Mark, for George and for her parents, to hear Mary’s voice. She was shaken but alive. But her low cry and the abrupt end of the call brought the fear back and gnawed at their confidence. What had happened to her? The question hung in the air. Afraid to say out loud what they feared, they preferred to keep their thoughts and worries to themselves.  No one wanted to talk about Mary.
 

He came in and watched her in her sleep for a while. He kneeled beside her and pulled her to a sitting position. She woke up frightened and didn’t scream because she was gagged.

Amused by her scared face, he brushed his fingertips over her face and smoothed her disheveled hair, straightening it a little. A jolt of panic ran through Mary. She turned her head from side to side in an attempt to avoid the hand that was touching her. He put one hand behind her neck, immobilizing her. Immediately her stomach tightened anticipating the outcome. He kissed her cheek, and with his free hand pulled the gag and kissed her lips gently.

I know this scent, this way to kiss and touch. It’s the way it
used to be. No, please God, don’t let be him, she begged in
silence as recognition and shock raced through her. She
 
 
 
would like to forget every minute she had spent with him, but
the memories were there, the good and the bad ones. 

     




 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 


Thank you Marcia for sharing a portion of your exciting novel. I definitely want to read more.


Find out more about Marcia and her writing by visiting the links below.


https://www.facebook.com/Marcia-Weber-Martins-203728799793274/

twitter @marcia_w_ m

Feel free to leave a comment below. Would love to know what's on your mind.