Category Archives: Author Interviews

Author Interview Crystal and Flint

Author Interview

1) How do you plot novels? Do you outline?

I don’t do a lot of planning for the first draft. I’ll have a general idea of what the story is about and maybe a few key moments, but that’s it. I use the first draft to figure out the story. Then for every other draft I make a detailed scene list that go into depth on what happens in the scene, who’s involved, what’s the purpose of the scene and so on. I even go so far as to color code it each scene depending on how much work needs to be done anything from minor changes, to doing a complete rewrite, or even adding in missing scenes. So, by the time I’m done, I end up with this massive multi-tab spreadsheet that really lets me see how the story has evolved and changed with each draft.

2) Do you write in one genre, or multiple genres?

I’m finding that most of my story ideas fall nicely in the science fiction genre. Not to say that I won’t ever write in another genre, but for now I’m sticking with science fiction. Where I can see myself changing things up is changing from Adult to Young Adult depending on the story.

3) What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I actually really like editing. I really enjoy problem solving and the editing phase really lets me do that with my stories. I enjoy going through rough first draft and figuring out the scenes that are missing or where a character’s motivation isn’t right and figuring out what I change to fix it. It’s kind of like a big game for me when I get that point and I love finding a way to fit all the pieces together perfectly.

4) What is your dream as an author?

I would love to have someone write fanfiction based off of my books. To have someone so invested in the characters I’ve created that they want to write their own story with them, or to love the world I’ve created so much they want to write themselves in a character. That would be such an awesome feeling. I want to see all the crazy relationship mash ups, I want to see Crystal go bad and join Teria, or Ryan be redeemed. All the things that I can’t do because I know how the story needs to work. I want my readers to take it and make it their own. That’s when I’d know I’d made it.

5) What would you like your readers to take away from your story?

I want my readers to walk away feeling empowered to be who they are without hiding any part of themselves. Crystal and Desi are both strong females in what are traditionally male roles but no one even bats an eye at it. They are simply the most qualified person for their jobs. On the other side of things some of my most sensitive characters are the men but that doesn’t take away from their ability to fight when they need to. It’s really about embracing yourself regardless of what people think you should be.

6) What are your strong points when it comes to writing? What are your weak points?

My weakest point is descriptions. In fact, most of my first drafts skip over all descriptions completely and then I have to go back in the next draft and really make an effort to add all that in. I think to think my strongest point is my dialogue, at least that’s the part that comes the easiest to me.

7) Are you working on something at the moment?

I’m currently working on finishing up book 2 in The Journey Missions series, Family Binds so that I can get it to my editor and release it this summer. Once that’s done, I’ll jump right into editing book 3, Thicker Than Blood. I also have an unrelated project I’ve been working on off and on about eco terrorism called Cleansing Rain.

About the Book

Title: Crystal and Flint

Author: Holly Ash

Genre: Science Fiction

It’s been 300 years since humans arrived on Neophia and the planet’s intelligent species have yet to agree on how much influence humans and their advanced technology should have on the planet.  With the threat of war hanging in the air, Lieutenant Commander Crystal Wolf races to finish construction of the mega submarine, Journey, in order to calm political tensions on Neophia and cement her already stellar military career.

Lieutenant Desiree Flint never dreamed she would leave Earth to serve on Neophia, but with the end of her military career in sight she doesn’t see a way around it. Determined to rebuild her reputation on Neophia, no matter the cost, she sets her sights on dethroning Commander Wolf in order to prove her own superiority.

When Journey is attacked by someone from Crystal’s past, the two women must find a way to work together to save the ship, liberate an underwater colony from an oppressive government, and prevent a war.

 

 

Author Bio

Holly Ash is the author of the underwater science fiction series The Journey Missions. She has worked for the last ten years as an Environmental Engineer after receiving degrees in Environmental Science and English Literature from Central Michigan University. Holly lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband and two tiny people who constantly want her to do things for them.

Holly is also a member of The Cabin in the Woods Association of writers which works to help indie authors get their books seen.

facebook.com/hollyashwriter

hollyashwriter.com

Twitter: @hollyash85

 

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Author Interview The Sacred Artifact

Author Interview

1)     What inspired you to start a writing career?

Growing up, I was always an avid reader. I was the kid reading books under the covers by flashlight instead of going to bed. When I studied English in college, I was intrigued by the authors’ different approaches to writing and grew interested in the actual writing process in addition to the final product.

 During a summer class, I was daydreaming and had this mental image of a guy watching his house burn down. The mental image prompted many questions. I started jotting down ideas in a notebook throughout the class. Eventually, I had enough ideas to have an outline. I felt at that point I might as well try to write a full novel, which I finished in two years. I fell in love with the writing process, and although the novel was never published, it instilled a love of writing in me.

2)     Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series?

My new middle grade fantasy, “The Sacred Artifact,” is the second and final book in the Young Alchemist series. The first book in the series is “The Missing Alchemist.” In the first book, I introduced readers to student alchemist Craig Pike, his archer friend, Audrey Clife, and the world of the Young Alchemist series. In “The Sacred Artifact,” I get to really develop the world and dive deeper into the story. Readers also learn a lot more about the history of alchemy. The even get to see where Cornelius, Craig’s teacher, trained!

3)     How does your book stand out from others?

“The Sacred Artifact” is a middle grade fantasy novel aimed at ages 10 to 14. The genre is quite eclectic, ranging from A Series of Unfortunate Events to the Percy Jackson series. I love the genre, and I think each book offers something different. My series, the Young Alchemist series, is geared toward young readers who enjoy fantasy with lots of action and adventure.

The Young Alchemist series is fast-paced and doesn’t waste time kicking into gear. That said, there is plenty of world building and character development, and I spend a fair amount of time ironing out my flavor of alchemy in the series. At the end of the day, I want the fantasy elements to augment the core of the story – the plot – rather than be the most central part. The characters are quite diverse, coming from a variety of backgrounds and motivations, so I think all readers will find someone they can root for and relate to.

4)     Are any of your characters based on real-life people?

I certainly draw inspiration from people I know in real life, and there are characters that have a lot in common with people I know. But there aren’t any exact replicas of people from my life in the Young Alchemist series. It’s not that I’m against basing characters on real-life people; it just didn’t pan out that way.

 5) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

 If your goal is to improve as writer, then read a lot and write a lot. If each book you write is better than the previous one, you’re succeeding. Don’t get bogged down with whether your book sold 100 copies or 10,000 copies. Just focus on continuously growing as a writer.

About the Book

Title: The Sacred Artifacts

Author: Caldric Blackwell

Genre: Middle Grade

Determined to uncover the secrets of a mysterious artifact, fourteen-year-old alchemy student Craig Pike and his teacher, Cornelius, journey to the birthplace of alchemy to seek the advice of a wise, ancient alchemist named Quintus. With the help of a witty archer, Audrey Clife, they trek across dangerous lands, compete in a cutthroat tournament, and reunite with old friends. They soon find out the artifact is more powerful than anticipated, and they aren’t the only ones seeking to discover its secrets….

 

Author Bio

Children’s book author Caldric Blackwell first realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (also with single-syllable names) in kindergarten. From that point on, he was nearly inseparable from books.

His interest in reading culminated in him studying English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Exposure to a host of great authors inspired him to begin writing fiction and started his journey to becoming a children’s book author. Although he began writing short stories for adults, he was drawn to the whimsical, imaginative nature of children’s literature and began working on his first book for children.

Blackwell’s debut work is an adventure-filled early chapter book, titled “The Enchanted River Race,” which follows a team of children as they compete in a river race. His next release is the beautifully illustrated picture book “The Boy Who Couldn’t Cry Wolf,” which revolves around a young werewolf who is self-conscious about his inability to howl.

His most recent work is the two-part Young Alchemist series, which is targeted at a middle grade audience. The first book in the series, “The Missing Alchemist,” follows alchemy student Craig Pike and clever archer Audrey Clife as they travel across mysterious lands and battle other-worldly creatures in a quest to rescue a famous alchemist. The second book in the series, “The Sacred Artifact,” centers on Craig’s attempt to uncover the secrets of a mysterious artifact, which entails journeying to the birthplace of alchemy to seek the advice of a mysterious, ancient alchemist.

Outside of reading and writing, children’s book author Caldric Blackwell enjoys jiu jitsu, gardening, and playing bass and guitar. He currently resides in Southern California.

 

 

 

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Author Interview Decanted Truths

Author Interview

1) What inspired you to start a writing career?

Ghostwriting on international security issues, which occupied the lion’s share of my writing career, started as a stopgap measure. It evolved from my academic background at a time when I was between jobs. I initially regarded the work, done on a contract basis, as temporary until I could find full-time employment. But I discovered I really liked it, was good at it and the contracts kept coming. I also liked the freedom of being a freelancer.

The evolution from nonfiction ghostwriter to novelist was more dramatic. From early adulthood, I always knew I had the makings of a novelist. And for all the material rewards of ghostwriting, one tires of not writing in one’s own voice. Also there was great appeal in creating a fictional world I could control. Unlike the real world, the bad guys I craft will eventually get their comeuppance and the good guys will eventually get their reward. I’d developed my fictional chops with many short stories and poems over the years. Had a few published. Basically, I realized if I was ever going to become the novelist I’d long dreamed of being, the time was now. So I committed to it fully and was lucky to find a wonderful publisher and editor, who had faith in me

2) Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series?

Decanted Truths is a singleton. If you’re interested in a series, please check out my Hillwilla trilogy, based in contemporary West Virginia and featuring the clash between “born-heres” and “come-heres,” with the latter exemplified by a gritty middle-aged heroine with a dark past. The first novel, published in 2014, is Hillwilla. The second is On the Hillwilla Road (2015). The final one, just published late last year, is Reinventing Hillwilla.

3) How does your book stand out from others?

Decanted Truths stands out from other novels because it’s so many things at once — and so hard to peg. It’s part literary novel, part (dysfunctional) family saga, part women’s fiction, part historical period piece — all with a hefty dollop of the paranormal. I’ve never fit a stereotype myself and whatever I write seems to shapeshift across genres

4) Are any of your characters based on real-life people?

None of the characters in Decanted Truths is based on real people, even though my first idea for the book (begun 20 years ago) was to fictionalize the up-from-bootstraps life of my maternal grandfather. That idea quickly fell by the wayside, and the characters developed identities very different from those of actual ancestors. Admittedly, I exposed the fictional Gavagans, Harrigans and Costellos to some of the same (real) events that played out in my family’s history. But the impact of those events was necessarily different, because the characters are so different from any real ancestors.

5) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Advice for aspiring authors? Oy… First of all, be an avid and eclectic reader. Take note of which books appeal and which don’t. Figure out why something works (for you, at least) and why it doesn’t. Absorb, don’t emulate. Then find your own voice and stay true to it. I’m not a big fan of farming out a work-in-progress for input from friends and relatives, largely because their comments can pull you away from your own authentic style. Once you have some idea of what you want to write, commit to it fully. To the isolation. To that blank page. To the vagaries of character development (yes, characters really do have their own minds). Be ready to rip up pages of hard-written words and start all over again. Persevere, persevere, persevere — all while somehow keeping the faith.

About the Book

Title: Decanted Truths

Author: Melanie Forde

Genre: Literary / Women’s Fiction / Family Saga

For Irish immigrant families like the Harrigans and Gavagans, struggle has been the name of the game since they arrived in Boston in the nineteenth century. For twice-orphaned Leah Gavagan, who comes of age in the Depression, the struggle is compounded by bizarre visions that disrupt her daily life — and sometimes come true. She has difficulty fitting in with her surroundings: whether the lace-curtain Dorchester apartment overseen by her judgmental Aunt Margaret or the wild Manomet bluff shared with her no-nonsense Aunt Theo and brain-damaged Uncle Liam. A death in the family disrupts the tepid life path chosen for Leah and sets her on a journey of discovery. That journey goes back to the misadventures shaping the earlier generation, eager to prove its hard-won American credentials in the Alaskan gold rush, the Spanish-American War, and The Great War. She learns of the secrets that have bound Theo and Margaret together. Ultimately, Leah learns she is not who she thought she was. Her new truth both blinds and dazzles her, much like the Waterford decanter at the center of her oldest dreams — an artifact linking three Irish-American families stumbling after the American Dream.

 

 

Author Bio

Raised in a Boston Irish family, Melanie Forde knew her life was infinitely easier than that of her ancestors, refugees from the Potato Famine. The storytelling skills of her elders kept ancestral triumphs and tragedies alive, so that the Potato Famine and the Easter Rebellion felt as real as the Cold War. Inheriting the storyteller gene, Ms. Forde is the author of three earlier novels, her Hillwilla trilogy. She now lives far from her roots, on a West Virginia farm. She still maintains a potato patch—just in case.

 

 

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Author Interview The Raygin War

Author Interview

Have you been writing for a long time?

 

I started to write my first book in 2013. Prior to that all my writing was work related and involved nuclear training and disaster scenarios.

 

What inspired you to start a writing career?

 

As a young boy I read thousands of comic books. I always felt it would be fun to create characters and worlds to entertain others much like the authors were entertaining me. As an adult I love to tell stories to my friends and family. I mix just enough truth to the tale I am telling so the listener doesn’t know if what I said is real or made up. It’s fun. I wanted to bring a similar experience to the readers of today.

 

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series?

 

My latest book, The Raygin War, is a futuristic sci-fi about an alien invasion of human occupied space. I wrote the book as a stand alone, but its something I designed so I could easily turn into a series. A series is nice because each book usually ends the mini story. The big storyline can live on forever or at least until the author’s imagination runs dry.

 

How does your book stand out from others?

 

I served in the U.S. Navy for eight years and even during difficult times it seems like a sense of humor made the task at hand a little more bearable. I see The Raygin War as a mix of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and Orson Scott Cards Formic War series with a sprinkling of humor added to the dialog.

 

Are any of your characters based on real-life people?

 

Yes, Mac, the main character has bits and pieces of real life people I met while serving in the Navy. While I was stationed on the USS Iwo Jima there was a Gunnery Sergeant that had the respect of about 800 marines. While working shore patrol in civilian clothes all I had to say to the marines starting to get themselves into trouble while on liberty was, “You don’t want me to give your name to the Gunney, do you?” That was all it took. He was a nice guy with a reputation. If you did right by him, he’d give his life for you, cross him and he’d put you in (excuse the language but it’s the way everyone talked) a world of shit.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

 

Use beta readers and an editor for your book. If you can’t do that then read your book out loud to find problem areas – you will still miss things but it will help. Go to http://inkandquills.com/2015/11/27/clutter-words-to-cut-from-your-writing/ and read an article by Kaitlin Hillerich – it’s a tip given to me by a senior editor of a literary agency to remove clutter from my writing.

About the Book

Title: The Raygin War

Author: Larry Gerovac

Genre: Science-Fiction

The Raygin War is a futuristic sci-fi story about an alien race that evolved from Carrion beetles. 25 years after first contact the aliens return with a fleet to invade human space. To stop the invasion the military puts all its hope into a single person. He’s an old school soldier who started his career as a ground pounder in the Sniper Corps. Mac has been involved in about every conflict the military has participated in. His skill as a sniper earned him the respect of every soldier who ever worked with him. He is a self taught killer. On the battlefield he has no equal. Whether it was killing the opponent in hand-to-hand combat, killing them with a weapon, or just plain old out maneuvering them Mac was the best the military had ever seen. When the Raygin war starts Mac is forced into a leadership role he wanted nothing to do with. Will Mac’s experience and talent be enough to neutralize the alien invasion? All is not what it seems. Read the Raygin War to see if the human race will survive and remain free.

 

Author Bio

Larry Gerovac was born in the shadows of the steel mills, oil refineries, and railroadyards of the Midwestern United States. He is a Navy Veteran and a first generation American. He writes in the genre of Science, Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror.

 

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Author Interview Amelia, The Merballs and The Emerald Cannon

Have you been writing for a long time? 

Yes, mainly for fun initially.  I wrote my first novel when I was eleven.  I’m not sure what happened to that book, it disappeared at some point!  Since then I’ve wrote a few other books, but as a hobby and not with any intention to publish them.  Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures has been my first adventure in the publishing world!

 

What inspired you to start a writing career? 

I just kept having ideas and eventually decided to start developing these ideas into books.  With Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures, I really felt inspired to write an exciting series that would connect children to space in a fun and engaging way.  Uglesnoo¾the friendly alien from Pluto¾ just popped into my head one day.  From that start I added Amelia and the quest that takes him and Amelia on tremendous adventures throughout the whole solar system!

 

 

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series? 

Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon, is the third book in Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures; a series of ten books for children, set in outer space.  Although it’s the third book, it can be read as a stand-alone, as there is information in the first chapter with brief reminders of the quest and what has happened in the previous books.  Readers will learn from all the books that Uglesnoo’s sister is very sick. The only thing that can cure her is a repelling crystal from the planet Neptune. In order to get the crystal, Amelia and Uglesnoo need to obtain many items from various different planets, the Moon and even the boiling hot Sun!

 

How does your book stand out from others? 

Every book is set on a different planet, or moon and Sun.  I like to mix a few facts about the planet within the fantasy.  In Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon, kids will learn a few facts about Mercury.  Then there is the challenge, which is different on each planet.  For example, on Mercury they have to get five pairs of flying shoes, which is not an easy task.  Every adventure has tests and lots of problem-solving for both Amelia and Uglesnoo.

 

Are any of your characters based on real-life people? 

Uglesnoo ¾my main alien character from Pluto ¾and most of the aliens are entirely imaginary.  But Amelia, the young heroine in my series was initially inspired by both of my daughters. She has my eldest daughter’s ability to think quickly and solve puzzles. Then I gave her my youngest daughter’s strong sense of adventure and curiosity about the universe. I also added other traits to Amelia. She has many fears which she needs to conquer in order for her and Uglesnoo to get the repelling crystal; the one thing that can save Uglesnoo’s sister and the reason behind the whole space adventures quest.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Write as much as you can.  Put your work away for a while.  Review and edit.  Do this multiple times.  I’d also really recommend having a professional editor review your work, before you decide to go down the publishing route.  It really highlights your strengths and weaknesses as a writer and shows you what you need to work on.  Persevere, be tenacious and open to constructive criticism.  But most of all enjoy the process, because you are putting something unique and creative out into the world! 

 

About the Book

Title: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Author: Evonne Blanchard

Genre: Children’s Books

Amelia and Uglesnoo land on Mercury.  They meet the Merballs, the friendly aliens that live there.  All goes well, until an asteroid hits their planet. Amelia and Uglesnoo find themselves in deep trouble. How will they convince the Merballs of their innocence? And how will they manage to collect the flying shoes, escape Mercury and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?

 

Author Bio

Evonne Blanchard was born and raised in England. She met her husband, an American whilst they were both volunteering at a children’s orphanage in Guatemala.  The writer lives north of Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and their two daughters, Lydia and Gwendolyn.  Other additions to the household include a crazy puppy called Bailey, a lovely cat called Arthur, and lots of fish!

The author has been fascinated by space ever since she was a little girl, mesmerized by clips of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon. As a teenager, War of the Worlds, by H.G Wells became one of her favorite books and she adores the movie Mars Attacks.

When it came to creating her own aliens, the author decided on the warm and fuzzy type, rather than the war-like Martians. Uglesnoo, her main alien character is from Pluto. He’s very friendly and nice but a little crazy too! This was the beginning of Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures, starring Amelia and her alien friend Uglesnoo, from Pluto in a series of ten exciting space adventures for children, ages 5-10.

Uglesnoo’s sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  To obtain the crystal Amelia and Uglesnoo must travel to the Moon, Sun and all the planets in the solar system.

Evonne’s favorite planet -or to be more accurate dwarf planet- is Pluto, because it has a blue sky and glaciers just like Earth! She was not happy when Pluto was downgraded. Uglesnoo, her alien creation from Pluto is still mad at the decision.  “Pluto is the most important place in the solar system.  It’s where everyone goes for their vacation!” He agrees with Alan Stern, a leading NASA scientist, “This definition (of Pluto as a dwarf planet) stinks…!”

The author is currently working on the fourth book in the series, Amelia, the Snapperjacks and the Molten Maze.  This book is set on the Sun.  How will Amelia and Uglesnoo manage to land on the boiling hot Sun, trade with the aliens, find the jars of Snapperjack honey and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?  Find out… in Amelia’s next amazing space adventure!

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Curious about the series? Click here to find out more:

https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/the-series

 

Links

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Barnes & Noble

 

Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Buy on Amazon

 

Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Buy on Amazon

 

Website: https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/

 

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Author Interview Memoirs of a Road Warrior

Author Interview

Have you been writing for a long time?

I have been writing for about two and half years; soon after retiring from sales. I have written one book and many short stories.

What inspired you to start a writing career?

I took a creative writing course about three years ago.

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series?

If my book is successful then there may be 2 prequels.

How does your book stand out from others?

It is a humorous book about business in the 1980’s. It tells you how not to run a business.

Are any of the characters based on real-life people?

Yes but I can’t say whom.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

My advise to aspiring authors would be to get published by a good publisher so that company will provide the marketing and promotion for you.

About the Book

Title: Memoirs of a Road Warrior

Author: Fred Klein

Genre: Humor

Andrew Livingston, a young, naive college graduate gets a job as a sales engineer for a crazy company. Set in New York in the corporate raider 1980’s this humorous book is a recounting of all the strange history of a high-tech company with an eccentric CEO.

This character gathers together a strange assortment of employees who endeavor to manufacture and sell their products to an equally strange collection of customers. The book tells of their amusing conflicts and experiences throughout the decades.

Follow the company’s encounters with Chinese agents, horse trailers, rocket fuel disasters, con-men, bedbugs, and airplane crashes. Learn how not to run a business!

 

Author Bio

Fred Klein is a new author of his humorous novel MEMOIRS OF A ROAD WARRIOR. He was a sales engineer for 30 years selling scientific instruments throughout North America. He is a private pilot, a drummer in a band, and presently lives with his wife in California. Fred is not a natural comedian but funny things always see to happen around him.

 

 

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Book Review and Author Interview The Immortal Seeds

Imortal Seeds eBook CoverTitle: The Immortal Seeds: A Tribute to Golden Treasures

Author: Sambath Meas

Genre: Family Memoir

This is a story about a father’s dream of escaping a war-torn country in search of stability and freedom, so that his children can live and thrive.

 

Sarin Meas, who was born and grew up in a remote village in Trangel, Kampong Chhnang, drifts from one place to another in search of a purpose, and a better life. In Pailin, a small town in western Cambodia known for its richness of gemstones, he meets a poor and uneducated girl whose daily life, from dusk until dawn, is strained by hard work: selling fruits and vegetables at the local market, along with cooking, doing laundry and cleaning up after strangers and relatives whom her aunt has taken in. If she doesn’t do her chores correctly and one of them tells on her, her aunt, a woman whose mood changes like a person suffering from a split personality, hurls foul language at her and beats her with any heavy object in sight. Sarin realizes that this young woman, whom everyone calls Thach, will die if she continues to live like this. So he marries her out of compassion. His compassion turns into love. Sarin and Thach form a family.

Tragically, after fifteen years of peaceful existence and independence from France, Cambodia gets sucked into the war of idealism between the world’s super powers—America, China, and the Soviet Union—by way of the Vietnam War. Cambodian leaders and people take sides. The Khmer Republic (backed by the United States) and the Khmer Rouge (backed by China, the Soviet Union and Vietnam) fight each other acrimoniously. After five years of battle, the relentless Khmer Rouge soldiers emerge victorious. Sarin has an opportunity to escape to Thailand with his family, but chooses to remain behind out of fear of the unknown. Soon he realizes the victors don’t know how to manage the country. Fear, paranoia and revenge turn them and their supporters into a killing machine.  Sarin, through cleverness and luck, helps his family navigate the horror of communism. When a second opportunity arrives, like thousands of other surviving Cambodians, he takes the chance to venture to the unknown—to find freedom, opportunity, and a better life for his family.

The Immortal Seeds: A Tribute to Golden Treasures is not only about the continuing of a family’s life cycle; it is also about a father’s idea—a purpose—that gets passed on to his daughter. In turn she hopes to pass it on to people not only within her community but also around the world.

“King Grandfather would like to wish that your memoir The Immortal Seeds will become successful.”

—Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia

The Immortal Seeds is a story of war, love, and the unbreakable bonds of family. Touchingly told, Sambath pays homage to her family across the generations, and shares how they helped the Meases to survive the war and thrive in peace.”

—Loung Ung, author of First They Killed My Father and Lucky Child

The Immortal Seeds exhibits a memoir’s emphasis on highly personalized, if not fully contextualized, experiences.”

—The Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia’s Newspaper

So, where do I begin? The Immortal Seeds is part memoir, part family history, set against the backdrop of a political regime that is far from democratic. The communist Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia was something I’d only vaguely heard and read about in the past, but this book was a real eye-opener for me.

The author’s research is incredible, and the setting is described in a very detailed, plausible way, that makes it easy for the reader to imagine themselves being there. The strength portrayed by the people showcased in this book is phenomenal, and an inspiration to everyone.

 

Author Interview

1. Have you been writing for a long time? 

I have been writing for 13 years now.

2. What inspired you to start a writing career? 

My writing stems from me wanting to learn more about my family history, especially about my father who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He and I experienced a hostile relationship. It was so combative and toxic that we could not bear to be in the same room. He was a miserable person and he was making me miserable, too. My mother was forced to be in the middle of it all. I was sick of our fights and his soul-crushing sarcasm.  I wanted our relationship to change. But first thing first: I changed myself. I started to read self-help books. They changed my life. I became a more understanding person and wanted to find out what was wrong with my father. I started to talk to him, to ask him about his pasts, as I was reading about refugees like him who suffer from post-traumatic and sudden death syndromes. I knew we fled a war-torn country, but I never knew the details of my parents suffering and what they went through to provide for me and my sister. I asked him and my mother about it. My mother had buried it so deep that she forgot about it. As for my father, he refused to tell me. I finally manipulated him into telling me about his pasts by relaying what journalists and orphans who survived the “killing fields” of Cambodia were saying about this dark period of our history. He was mad. He thought those people either did not remember or manipulated their stories to fit their biased or ignorant narratives. He finally opened up and when he did, he would not stop. This was when I started to record my family history, research, and interview my family, friends, and relatives.

3. Is this book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series? 

It’s going to be a trilogy: the first book is about my family’s pasts; the second is going to be about me growing up in Uptown, Chicago; and the third book is going to be about my struggle to find success and happiness against all odds.

4. Which character did you enjoy writing about the most? 

I enjoy writing about my father and mother, because I learn how much they have changed as human beings.

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

If you want to write, do it! Don’t let fear and procrastination get in the way. Just dive into it. You’ll learn a lot along the way. The end product will make it all worth it.

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