Tag Archives: point of view

Ryan Winfield’s South of Bixby Bridge–ADDICTIVE!

3 Apr

I’m not an addict. I’m not. Never been drunk in my life. Never seen drugs in real life, let alone touching or inhaling/injecting them. I only play a few games (Scrabble, Lines, Words with Friends, Chinese Chess) and that’s if my son joins me.

And yet there is something I’m in danger of becoming addicted to–Ryan Winfield’s work.

By the way his debut novel is acclaimed I probably won’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, but SOBB is by a mile one of the best books I’ve read. It’s not as much the story, which brings to mind a dalliance between Wall Street, Limitless and Two for the Money, but the author’s voice. For that alone I give it more stars than I can count. Never read anything even remotely close to it. Refreshing, engaging, inspiring, through and through pure art at its best.

There are people out there for which telling stories comes natural, captivating audience in a matter of minutes. Ryan Winfield is one of them—a painter if you will, masterfully and effortlessly painting vivid scenes not by using brushes, but with words instead. Reading the first paragraph I was surprised how easily I could imagine the scene. By the time I finished the first page I was hooked. Coffee and chocolate helped me stay up all night to finish it. No way I could put it down!

Unfortunately I can never describe a book without giving away the story (what can I say? I’m not perfect). But let me tell you this: as one who has never tried drugs or been drunk in my entire life, the journey addict Trevor Roberts embarks on is a riveting life lesson. It’s not about where he goes, but how he makes it there. You’re down, hitting rock bottom with the hero, feeling his struggle, denial, torment, and sorrow. You’re up with him, high, rooting for him to get on the other side of the bridge, one step at a time. Rarely does a book embody a range of emotions such as this.

There are no quotation marks in this book, but I promise you, you’ll know who’s talking. It might be difficult in the beginning, but once you grasp it, you won’t even notice it. The connection between present time and past memories is smoothly created, without jarring the reader away from the storyline. The book is entirely written from Trevor’s point of view without one second of monotony, but rather engaging and intriguing. The story is paced, building up, until the climax with a comforting aftermath.

I sure hope I won’t have to wait too long until his next release…

Interview with Dave Cleinman

15 Oct

My third guest featuring indie writers from the IWU group is no one else but David Cleinman. Aside from being a successful businessman, husband and father, David is a wonderful author, with three books to his name and still counting.

CMS: Dave, you seem the kind of guy who knows how to be positive at all times, searching for ways to figure things out. How do you do it?

DC: Hmmm.  Positive at all times?  I don’t know about that one.  But I do try to make sense of as much of my world as possible.  An endeavor fraught with failure, as you might guess, but still worth doing.  My novels have a “seek the best even in the worst” kind of quality.   My characters are constantly struggling to make sense of their situations, even when that is painfully difficult.  I think that trait, so strong in me, is just naturally extended to them.

CMS: “Principle Destiny” a fantasy novel came out in November of 2009. How did the story of Princess Alyssa come about and what inspired you?

DC: “Principle Destiny” is now out of print, and will soon be Indie published under a different title.  I couldn’t bear the thought of this novel, as lovely a print job as it was, be so expensive.  My publisher, who shall remain nameless (unless someone searches for the book), did nothing to help me promote it, and it just kind of stagnated. Princess Alyssa is an amalgam of the best qualities of a potential leader, who puts her foot down and refuses to accept the situation in which she finds herself.  While not exactly flawless, she represents the best of humanity in simple ways that I would like to see all politicians and leaders embrace.  She puts her citizens first, has no interest in political agendas, and believes that self-sacrifice is as important for her as for any of her citizens.  The race to gain the kingship, a bit of a throwback to ancient legend, is not only physically exhausting, but mentally draining, and her victory, while coming at quite a price, establishes her firmly as the powerful individual and leader she was meant to be.

CMS: I absolutely love the cover on your second book “Toys in the Attic” which is a psychological thriller out May 2011. What can you tell us about Sara, your main character?

DC: Thank you.  The cover is as emotionally descriptive as I could have hoped.  Desolate and eerie, with just a hint of potential sunshine, and a beautiful woman whose eyes reflect desire for normalcy… I never could have managed that quite as well as Christine DeMaio Rice did. The book asks a simple question, and slowly answers it.  If we found ourselves in a situation where, each and every waking moment, we were haunted by a personal horror so devastating that it has led some individuals to suicide, insanity, or murder, how would we cope?  Sara lives with this very situation and spends over a decade trying to build a life and overcome it.  Sara is both an icon of strength and personal courage, as well as a teenager who never really grows up, emotionally, until she is forced to do so.  I’ll say here that her child, born out of her personal tragedy, begins as a burden, but ends up being a savior.  His faith in his mother never dies, even when her own has.

CMS: As a male author how hard is to write from the heroine’s point of view?

DC: Hard is not really the word I would choose. It is challenging, for sure, but the way I would describe it is this:  it is a balancing act that really is unsurpassed in how unique it is.  I draw on both my feminine side, really based in my being a feeler more than a thinker, as well as deep observation and a background in psychology and counseling. Getting the emotions just right, expressing sexuality delicately, while allowing our main character the freedom to explore, and showing strength while breeding sympathy was all very challenging.  I pretty much just go for it, rely on my instincts, and take as much feedback as I can from women readers.

CMS: What’s next for you? Are you currently working on another novel and when should we expect its release?

DC: First is the reissue of “Principle Destiny” as “The Woman Who Would Be King”.  A cover update is in the works, and a very slight rewrite.  30 to 45 days, max. I am also working on two fantasy series, a sci fi rewrite, and a video game story.

CMS: Do you have a routine when you write and if yes, please describe it.

DC: Just write.  I sit down, listen to music that matches the emotional tone of what I am writing, and type.  Not much else to it.  I do more writing in my head than on “paper” and a lot gets hashed out before seeing life on my computer screen.

CMS: How long did it take you to complete each novel from concept to publish?

DC: “Principle Destiny” took me 10 years. I tend to be slow, anyway, but I never really made my writing the priority I should have. I began this journey at thirteen, and just now am really getting going. “Toys In The Attic” (TITA) took me about a year to develop.  It was put aside for a couple of years, then finished in about nine months. My efforts are improving, somewhat, but I still can’t seem to get that daily writing groove going.

CMS: Why did you choose to go with self-publishing? What was the hardest thing on this journey?

DC: “Principle Destiny” was really not meant to be self-published.  The publisher seemed fairly traditional.  Now I know better. Indie publishing appealed to me because it is instant.  It gives birth to stories without an overseer, who may or may NOT know better and, after reading some exceptional Indie works, I don’t really believe traditional publishing produces superior stories. The hardest thing was getting the formatting right for each epublisher.  And, as always, promotion is challenging.

CMS: How do you promote your novels?

DC: Still working on that one.  My Facebook page is live:  http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDavidACleinman

I am a member of several blogs and books sites:  Goodreads, AW Water Cooler, Kindleboards, Library Thing.

I write reviews and interview authors, both of which can be seen on my blog: http://www.davidcleinman.com/writings

I’m still working out more ways.  Any suggestions by readers of this interview are welcome!  Just leave comment on my blog!  Thanks in advance!

Close-up and personal, who is David Cleinman:

Night owl or morning person?

Night owl.  To a fault.

Coffee or tea?

Depends on my mood.  Either or neither.  I prefer cool drinks, usually.

Music or silence?

Music, most of the time.  My mind allows me no silence!

Sea or mountains?

Mountains. I grew up in the hills of upstate New York, and they are in my blood forever.

Cat or dog?

I like both evenly.  A dog is more fun.  A cat is more, um … interesting.  I prefer affectionate pets, rather than aggressive.

Thanks Cami for taking the time to interview me!  I really enjoyed your questions!