Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ralphs Rants-A new interview with me by Doctor Art Sippo! We talk 'The Grim Spectre' and much more! Check it out today!

 Click here to be taken to 'Arts Reviews' interview of me-A new audio interview/podcast featuring me! Check out Arts Reviews newest podcast featuring a talk about my newest novel called 'The Grim Spectre' as well as what I have coming up on several fronts including my audio books. Check it out today! 

As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

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Monday, December 7, 2015

The Hyperforce Audiobook-Available now!

The audiobook version of my novel 'Hyperforce' is now available

Available at Amazon by clicking 


Get your copy today! 

Ralph's Rants! Available Now! The Grim Spectre!

In a city filled with corruption and crime the citizens cried out to the heavens for a hero. But what they recieved instead may be a demon from hell! The Grim Spectre! Available NOW at Amazon.com

Get your copy today! 

As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

Subscribe to my blog! Click on the link at the top of the right hand column to get my daily rants delivered to your inbox.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ralph's weekly blog- A review of the Jessica Jones Netflix series

Jessica Jones- A review of the series on Netflix

Jessica Jones premiered this past weekend on Netflix. I watched all 13 episodes and came away with some mixed feelings.
First, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this definitely was not my kind of super-hero show.  I don’t enjoy content that has to continually slam sex in your face, as this show did. I don’t care for ‘adult’ comics or super-hero content. It was, as a friend put it so succinctly, ‘soft core porn.’ He was absolutely right. The first three episodes seemed to do nothing but revolve around faux sex scenes. I think the third episode had 2-3 sex scenes in it. Too much and definitely not interested.
Another part of the series that rubbed me wrong was Carrie Ann Mosses character of Jeryn Hogarth, who in the comics was a male lawyer for Danny ‘Iron Fist’ Rand. Here, Jeryn Hogarth is a lesbian character with two lovers and a few sleazy touching and feeling scenes. All totally unnecessary.
The character of Jessica Jones is, to me, unlikable at best. She’s a foul-mouthed drunk, who happens to have super strength. She’s a sleaze with very questionable morals.
But her backstory is where it begins to get interesting. She has a history with an evil villain who can control minds with his words, compelling people to do as he wishes just by saying it. Killgrave the purple man would have been better represented had he been purple fleshed, as he was in the comics. We have a green skinned Hulk, why not a purple man?
As the series goes on the sleaze factor seems to dry up and the story finally comes to the forefront. Killgrave is a vile and terrible villain without moral compass or center. He has other do whatever he wishes just so he can get some sick, perverse pleasure from it. He is evil for the sake of being evil. Along the way he horrifically, for example, kills his own parents. He is an evil, terrible man portrayed masterfully by David ‘Dr. Who’ Tennant.
The other standout star of this was Luke Cage, a longtime marvel hero with steel hard skin and super-strength. I felt the actor who played him did so with a bit of honor. Mike Colter did a good job of bringing Luke Cage to life. For me, he was one of the standouts of this thing.
Kristin Ritter, who portrayed Jones, seemed to almost sleepwalk her way through her lines. She was there, but most of the time it didn’t seem to matter. Almost as if she, for the most part, was a background character in her own story. Perhaps it was meant to be that way; I don’t know.
There are other characters such as Patsy ‘Hellcat’ Walker, who is Jones’ sister. A super soldier named Simpson, AKA ‘Nuke’ who has all kinds of problems. A weird brother and sister who live down the hall from Jones and a drug addict named Malcolm who Jones helps to beat his habit.
A lot of these people die horrific deaths at Killgrave’s hands; some do not.
I will say that after the third episode the series began to catch my attention, and for the most part held it. While I was looking for another Daredevil, what I got was Silence of the Lambs with some super powers thrown in.

Most if it takes place in a moody and dark Hell’s Kitchen at night. It’s a dark and brooding series with flashes of brilliance amidst an all too seedy storyline. I’d give it three out of five stars at best, with the fervent hope that this was a one and done series. I know I don’t need any more Jessica Jones. It's just too sleazy for my tastes.

As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

Subscribe to my blog! Click on the link at the top of the right hand column to get my daily rants delivered to your inbox.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

My review of the new Bond film-'Spectre'


Over the past decade I’ve been critical of the Daniel Craig Bond movies. The first one he did-Casino Royale- I actually liked and I had high hopes for his run as Bond, though I wished he would have dyed his hair black as it was supposed to be. But all in all, it was a good Bond flick and I enjoyed it.

But then there was Quantum of Solace; which made no sense and was a movie without any depth or feeling to it. I watched it a few times and it seemed like nothing more than one long action sequence after another without anything to tie it all together. I thought it was one of the more awful Bond flicks.

A few years back we were treated to ‘Skyfall’ which was yet another misfire to me. Overly long, the entire movie ended up with the villain succeeding and killing M which was his main objective all along (Which I was fine with, I hated Judy Dench as ‘M’. She was annoying as hell.) The story was barely interesting and the whole ‘We’re not doing gadgets anymore’ annoyed the crap out of me.

Also, Craig has never been the Bond who quipped. He never had that slight humor all previous Bonds did. The wry smile, the sarcastic comments, the fearlessness in the face of danger. He had none of that. He always plays an angry man. His Bond is Stoic and humorless.

This new film is no exception to this.

But that’s the only similarity to the other Craig ‘Bond’ films.

This one had an intriguing storyline that began with one of the best beginning action sequences in recent Bond films history. Not only that, but the storyline kept my attention. As usual with the Craig movies some parts seemed to make no sense, but at least in this movie they actually cleared all of that up within a few minutes. This movie goes out of its way to connect all the previous Craig era Bond movies, which was well needed and explained so much with its common and very personal (For Bond) thread.

The fight sequence on the train was brutal and intense, and very reminiscent ‘To Russia with Love.’ Dave Bautista is slowly becoming one of my favorite character actors. Here he was brutal and relentless. A good foil for Bond.

Not too much later Bond is captured and tortured in a way that made me squirm in my seat. It was a very vicious scene and one where Bond was saved by one of Q’s gadgets that had been sworn off of during ‘Skyfall’ but they were back and they were back with a bang!

Oh yeah, there was a car chase scene in this one too, because what is a Bond flick without at least one car chase? Also, cool car with gadgets. All good.

The locales used in this film were all exotic, Mexico City, Rome, Austria, Tangiers and London.

All in all I really liked this movie. Once again Craig is too straight faced and stoic as Bond for me. He’s a robot, completely humorless and focused on his mission. He was sort of the Dave Bautista characters mirror image in many ways.

But also in many ways this was his most human Bond film, with him stepping outside his self-image at the movies end (Which BTW, had a cameo by a returning star of the series at the very end.)

I had a few quibbles along the way, but all in all I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. It was a little bit overly long (about 2 1/2 hours) but overall I really liked it. He’s still far from my idea of Bond in almost every way, so hopefully he’ll be replaced in the next film, which is the rumor. If he is, he went out the right way in a movie that was the best of his Bond films. I would be satisfied with that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ralphs Rants-Art's reviews talks to me about The Cgaliostro Chronicles Audio edition!

You can check out Dr. Art Sippo and I discussing all of my books including and especially the recently released The Cagliostro Chronicles Audiobook

Click Here to go to the interview and podcast- 

The audiobook itself is available at http://tinyurl.com/cagchronaudio

As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

Subscribe to my blog! Click on the link at the top of the right hand column to get my daily rants delivered to your inbox.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ralph's Rants does interviews with Aaron Smith

I interview Aaron Smith.

Hi Aaron, and welcome to Ralph’s Rants. How are you doing today?

I’m great, Ralph. Thanks for having me on Ralph’s Rants!

Aaron, tell us a little bit about your books and stories. How many novels do you have out now?

I’ve had seven novels published so far.

How many short stories?

At last count, I think I had thirty-nine short stories out, scattered across various anthologies, magazines, websites, and other formats.

Tell us the names of all of your novels.

My first novel was a science-fantasy story called GODS AND GALAXIES which is, thankfully, out of print. It was a good story and I’m proud of the plot, but I think I rushed it and wasn’t ready to be a published novelist yet. It was a clumsy attempt, prose-wise. Someday, I’d like to re-edit it and put it out there again. My second novel was Sherlock Holmes-related, though it didn’t actually feature Holmes! That was SEASON OF MADNESS, a mystery in which Dr. Watson of the Holmes stories teams up with Dr. Seward of Bram Stoker’s Dracula to solve the mystery of why seemingly random Londoners are suddenly going violently insane. I then did two vampire novels, 100,000 MIDNIGHTS and ACROSS THE MIDNIGHT SEA. Those did rather well for a while until the publisher went under. I hope to put those back into availability soon by self-publishing them and then write a third book in the series. My most successful novel so far has been the zombie horror story CHICAGO FELL FIRST,

which has had great reviews. It figures! The novel readers have liked the most is the one that was never intended to have a sequel or be part of a series! Over the past few years, my pride and joy as far as novels go has been my spy series, featuring American agent Richard Monroe. There are two of those out so far: NOBODY DIES FOR FREE and UNDER THE RADAR.   
You seem to be a crime or spy novel author more than anything else, what do you consider to be your favorite genre to write?

At first glance, that’s a very tough question to answer, since I bounce from genre to genre a lot. I’ve written detective stories (most notably my Sherlock Holmes tales), quite a lot of horror, and also some science fiction, fantasy, and even a western, plus, as you mentioned, spy and crime stuff. So it’s hard to choose a genre. But, when I really think about it, something occurs to me. Almost everything I write contains some sort of mystery that must be solved for the story to reach its conclusion. Obviously, the Holmes stories are mysteries, but isn’t a spy untangling an espionage plot a sort of detective story too? My second vampire novel is about a human protagonist and his vampire girlfriend trying to figure out who committed a murder. My zombie novel involves a group of people piecing together a solution to the plague that’s turning human beings into hungry walking corpses. I guess the answer to the question would be that I am first and foremost a mystery writer, whether the story takes the form of the traditional Holmes-style detective puzzle or has a spy searching for answers or is a mystery covered in the dressings of a horror story. So I love all genres but usually plant a mystery at the heart of my stories.     

What inspired you to write in the first place?

I spent a lot of my life looking for a creative outlet. Telling stories is something I seem to need to do, as if I don’t have a choice. But it wasn’t always about writing. I’ve tried many forms of art in my life. I wanted to draw comic books as a kid, but although I drew well I didn’t have the patience or discipline to keep going with that (I am absolutely in awe of the amount of work that goes into drawing comics!). Then I tried music, playing guitar and writing songs, but I think I was a bit too shy to put myself out there like that. Although, to digress for a second, that led to a number of strange adventures, as I wound up working for a band, setting up drums and stuff like that, and, most of all, being the one who remained sober and trying my best, despite the odds, to keep all the others, especially the singer, out of trouble! I might write a book about that someday. Anyway, I did some acting too, but I finally realized that my best creativity comes out when I’m working alone and at my own pace, so I settled on writing. What I love about writing is that the vast majority of a project is done by me, alone, and whenever I can fit the time into my day. It’s not until the story is done that editors, publishers, illustrators, and everyone else comes into the process, so I can make an almost-complete piece of work without having to worry about what part everybody else is playing in it. Writing suits my personality more than any other creative endeavor.   

Who are your favorite authors?

There are many and I’m sure to forget someone, but … obviously Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, along with some other great mystery writers like Agatha Christie and Colin Dexter. Of horror writers, H.P. Lovecraft is my absolute favorite, and my favorite living horror writer is Clive Barker. Ian Fleming’s work is important to me and the James Bond stories have been a huge factor in my life, both as novels and in the movie versions. Being involved in a lot of pulp-related projects, of course I love Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard. And there are the classic science fiction writers, whose work I ferociously binged on when I was in my teens, and those would include Roger Zelazny, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, and, of course, Ray Bradbury. I also have to mention Stan Lee and many of the writers who followed him on Marvel comics, because comics were very influential to me when I was younger. And, well these aren’t really authors by strict definition, but they’re universe creators and my imagination wouldn’t be the same without the worlds they brought into being: George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry.         

What was your actual first published work? And was it the first story you wrote?

My first published story was, “The Massachusetts Affair,” which appeared in Airship 27 Productions’ first volume of their SHERLOCK HOLMES CONSULTING DETECTIVE series. I was incredibly fortunate to have my first published work feature my all-time favorite character and one of the great literary icons, Sherlock Holmes. Having that happen was so encouraging. It wasn’t the first story I wrote. I had been experimenting with writing for a little while before that, although I’m not sure what I wrote first during that time. The first time I ever remember writing a story was way back when I was in the second grade and I tried to write an Indiana Jones novel during Miss Brunt’s math lesson! I didn’t get very far.   
What are your actual aspirations as an author?
I would love to be able to write full-time and have it pay most of the bills, but that hasn’t happened yet. Beyond the obvious monetary aspirations, I just want to continue telling good stories and getting to work in different genres with different characters and be able to come up with my own ideas as well as occasionally work with some of the great concepts created by other authors. 

Who is your favorite character to write, and why?

Sherlock Holmes, by far! It’s like going home. Holmes has been a part of my life since I was ten, and the whole cast of characters, the setting, and the structure of the stories are so familiar to me that it flows very naturally once I have a concept in mind for the case he and Watson are going to deal with. Holmes is always my fallback character. I can’t always get my own stuff to flow well and I often grow frustrated when trying something new or wondering why one of my projects doesn’t sell or something, but there never seems to be a time when I can’t sink into Baker Street mode and visit Holmes and Watson and get a good story out of it.  

What is your writing process?

I don’t know if I have one. Ideas float into my head and some of them die there while others become more solid and reach a point where they have to come out, like a child being born or, maybe, in some cases, like the alien bursting out of poor John Hurt’s chest! Then, when I have the time, I start writing. Every project is a little different as far as the steps that lead from beginning to end.

Do you plan out ahead, or just go with a loose plot idea and see where it lands?

I rarely plan in detail. I usually have a start, maybe a few middle pieces, and sometimes a finish in mind, but I never write strict outlines or anything, as I feel that takes the fun out of it. I like to watch the story unfold gradually as I write it.

When do you write? At night? During the day? Any free moment you get?

If it’s work day, I try to do a little writing either before or after work, depending on my schedule. If I’m off from the day job, I usually write in a series of short spurts throughout the day. I might write a few hundred words after I get up, then stop for coffee before writing another page, then watch a movie or read for a while and tackle another 500 to 1000 words in the afternoon. As much as I would like to sit down and write straight through for many hours and produce great chunks of work in one burst, that happens very infrequently.   

Do you have ideas floating around in your head or do you sit down and hash things out before beginning?

There are always ideas floating around in my head. And I always try to capture them before they float away. I often have what I call my Columbo days, meaning I get hit with ideas when I’m not home and can’t write, so I end up finishing my day with all these little scraps of paper or cardboard in my pockets with scribbled little half-ideas, and then have to try to figure out what they mean when I get home. Eventually, those bits get hashed out into some sort of logical order and then I can begin.  

How do you feel when you write an author’s two favorite words, ‘The End’? Relieved or annoyed because you want to write more?

Definitely relief! Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but it really is a form of work, and hard work at that! The relief comes from two things, though. One: I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do. Two: Now I can choose my next project, because there’s always another story I want to tell.

So what’s next for Aaron Smith? What books are you coming out with soon or are you currently writing?

I have a few things either coming out soon or currently in progress. I’ve been doing a series of Lovecraftian short stories for Pro Se Press, under the umbrella title of “Shadows over America.” The first one, “An Exodus of Worms,” is out now and I have written the next two installments. I have two more Sherlock Holmes stories in the publication queue at Airship 27 (my 7th and 8th) with another one being written now. The next one should be out fairly soon and that will be my longest Holmes to date. I’ve completed the first draft of my next Richard Monroe spy novel, which will be called (I’m revealing the title for the first time here) NEVER THINK TWICE. The next story I have coming out (very soon) will be in an anthology called SPAWN OF THE RIPPER, from a wonderful Canadian publisher called April Moon Books. This is a tribute to the Hammer horror movies of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. My contribution is called “The Blood-Soaked Sand” and features Van Helsing (based on the version played by Peter Cushing, who happens to have been my favorite actor). And, finally, I’ve recently been working on something featuring one of my favorite fictional characters ever, a project I’m just about as excited to be part of as I was about writing Sherlock Holmes. But … I am not yet at liberty to reveal the details (sorry!).     

Lastly, where do you call home and what do you like to do in your spare time when not writing?

Spare time? I don’t understand! Seriously, though, I live in the beautiful town of Ringwood, New Jersey, which is a nice mountainous region that looks wonderful in the autumn and is quiet and countryish while still close enough to the major highways to not be an inconvenience (you’ll have to stop by someday when you’re on one of your motorcycle journeys, Ralph. It’s not too far away). When I’m not working the day job or writing, I try to find time to read or watch movies of various genres, all of which, of course, feed my imagination so I can write even more.

Thanks so much for being here, Aaron. I really appreciate it and good luck with all your projects. Feel free to leave any links to your books or websites below as well as Facebook, twitter or email addresses you might want fans of your work to have.

My Twitter ID is @AaronSmith377  I hope readers will follow me there, or, they can feel free to friend me on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001125888963

Most of my work is available on my Amazon page at: http://www.amazon.com/Aaron-Smith/e/B0037IL0IS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1374366653&sr=1-2-ent

My blog, which features information about my work as well as opinions and the occasional book, movie, or TV review, can be found at www.godsandgalaxies.blogspot.com

As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

Subscribe to my blog! Click on the link at the top of the right hand column to get my daily rants delivered to your inbox.

Monday, October 19, 2015


As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My thoughts on the TV season so far

My TV ratings so far this season

 Gotham: Meh, I could take it or leave it. Last season I left it a little more than halfway through. I'm just not that interested at this point. I'll stick with it a few more weeks and see if it grabs me. 2 1/2 out of 5.

Big Bang Theory: It's been great and enjoyable. A little drama with Penny and Leonard that was quickly fixed. very funny. 4 1/2 out of 5.

The Flash: Home run in the first inning! Awesome first episode, I loved it. So well done. 5 out of 5.

Arrow: If the Flash was a 5 star premiere, Arrow has to be a 6 out of 5! It hit on all cylinders and gave us plenty of twists and turns along the way including a very surprising last scene that leaps forward 6 months. Wow! It was fantastic!

Supernatural: Very good premiere episode. the boys are back. Lots of foreboding of things to come and an evil that was ancient when man was new. As always, extremely well done. 4 out of 5

Heroes Reborn: A big surprise to me. I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I have, but it's got me both interested and intrigued. I like it a lot. It is surprisingly great and has me hooked. At times it may be a little slow, but that's the worst I can call it. 4 out of 5.

Sleepy Hollow: One of my former favorites is so far putting me to sleep. Its very slow going at this point, and as usual I find Abby annoying. But I'm going to stick with it because it was good in the past. 3 out of 5.

Now when is Grimm coming back?

As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

Subscribe to my blog! Click on the link at the top of the right hand column to get my daily rants delivered to your inbox.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Books, books, and more books

Coming soon...

Here now...

And this...

And let's not forget about this...

Or this gem

Or how about this one?

And then there's always this...

Which brings us back to the one that started it all

As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

Subscribe to my blog! Click on the link at the top of the right hand column to get my daily rants delivered to your inbox.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Arts Reviews talks to me About the Cagliostro Chronicles Audiobook!

Click on the link below to listen to me being interviewed in an extensive podcast interview with Art Sippo (One of the greatest guys in New Pulp!)


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jilly Paddock Interview!

Jilly Paddock interview

Hello Jilly, and welcome to Ralph’s Rants does Interviews; how are you tonight?

I’m fine, thanks. Hope you’re well too.

Jilly, how long have you been writing?

I started to write at school, in my early teens. Before that I’d always enjoyed writing essays for English and took great delight in twisting the titles we were given so I could write something fantastical or with a science fiction theme. I had two friends who shared my interest in SF and we all started writing our proto-books. We’d brainstorm plots and critique our work in breaks and lunch hours. All three of us are now published writers.

What are your writing influences as far as authors go?

I read a lot of SF and fantasy, all the usual culprits: Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein and Tolkien, plus John Varley, Fritz Leiber and John Sladek. I also like a lot of British writers, including some that your readers may be unfamiliar with, such as Iain Banks, James White, Colin Kapp, Dan Morgan, Mary Stewart*, Louise Cooper, Tanith Lee and Gwyneth Jones. I’d say that the biggest influences on my work are Cordwainer Smith and Peter S. Beagle.

*I just looked up Mary Stewart and it said that she wrote books “featuring smart, adventurous heroines who could hold their own in dangerous situations”–oh, so that’s where my inspiration came from then!

What books or characters have influenced your writing?

I loved James White’s Sector General books, which are about a hospital in space. Both staff and patients come from all kinds of alien species, and the wards are set up for everything from simple water-breathers all the way up to creatures that live on hard radiation, where the doctors have to visit in lead-plated tanks. The hero, Dr Conway, can be a bit too clever and smug, but there are some brilliant supporting characters. I liked O’Mara, the head of Psychology, and Dr Prilicla, the insect-like empath, but I identified with Murchison, the nurse who later worked in the pathology labs, as that was my day job.
One of my favourite short stories is ‘The Game of Rat and Dragon’ by Cordwainer Smith, in which humans are telepathically linked to cats to hunt the monstrous things that haunt the unreal space that FTL spacecraft travel through. I pay homage to that idea in my space opera, Warbird, and in the Zenith-Alpha 4013 books.
I’m greatly influenced by lots of poems and lyrics of folk songs, particularly those with a touch of magic and the supernatural, such as ‘Tam Lin’ and ‘The Two Magicians’.

Tell us all a little about your new novel, what’s it called?

My latest book from Pro Se Press is a short novel called Dead Men Rise Up Never. It’s an SF/murder mystery about a man killed by a unicorn. The case is given to Detective-Inspector A. Afton Lamont and her not quite human partner, Jerome, and their attempt to solve it is complicated by an AI who inhabits various avatar bodies and her master, a privileged aristocrat who leads a bohemian community of artists. Also included is a bonus short story, ‘Five of Humours; one of Melancholy; one of Honey’, in which Afton and Jerome get drunk with their colleagues after an unpleasant case.
Another story in the series will appear soon in Legends of New Pulp Fiction, a benefit anthology for Tommy Hancock, from Airship 27.

What is the setting for it?

Afton and Jerome live in Prosperity City on a human colony planet called Siobhos. It’s a quiet place with a relatively small population, a green and pleasant world. It isn’t at the cutting edge of technology, and we’d find their computers, mobile phones and electric or gas-powered cars very familiar. I guess it would be a very nice place to live.

Is this your first full length novel?

No. I have about a dozen finished novels waiting for publication. Some need a bit of revision and polishing, but some are ready to go.

Is this a one off novel or the start of a new series?

This is the longest Afton and Jerome story, but it isn’t the first. The characters met in The Spook and the Spirit in the Stone which is currently available as a self-published e-book. That edition will be replaced by a new print and ebook edition, which will come with an extra short story from Pro Se later this year. There are also a couple of other short stories, plus several unfinished ones.

Are there any characters in the book inspired by yourself or anyone you are close to?

I don’t think it’s a good idea to base characters on real people.
Okay, I’ll admit that I have written someone who really upset me into a book and killed them off–actually I made them into two different characters and killed both of them off–but I did file off the serial numbers and remove all identifying details, so only I know who they are.
I use fragments of people to enrich my characters; a gesture here or an expression there, and I borrow behaviours and reactions. Sometimes I’ll use an actor as a template, just to help me visualise how a character looks.

What else have you written?

Pro Se published To Die A Stranger in 2014, the first in a series of SF/espionage novels about Anna-Marie Delany and her computer partner, Zenith Alpha 4013. The second is With Amber Tears and is due to come out later this year. There are at least eight more novels in the series, most of them finished.
I’ve written a long space opera, Warbird, which will be produced in two volumes by 18thWall Productions, hopefully later this year.
I have a short story, ‘Mountains of Ice’, in a charity anthology, Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge published by Nightscape Press, in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. I’m in some wonderful company in that book!
I also had a story in Pro Se Presents #19, ‘The Third Worst Thing That Can Happen on Mars’.
I’ve self-published an e-book collection of short stories, The Dragon, Fly and other flights of fancy and a first contact novella, No Earthly Shore. The title story of the collection will be reprinted by 18thWall.
Everything seems to be pending–I expect they’ll all turn up at once, like buses!

What is your writing process? Do you plot the entire book out at once or do you wing it with a beginning and an ending in place?

The latter, I think. I usually get the start and a few scenes along the way, and some idea of the ending, then I have to fill up the gaps. Sometimes the whole thing will just drop into my head–with ‘The Dragon, Fly’, I got the whole story out of the aether and wrote it very quickly. ‘Mountains of Ice’ was the same. I got the inspiration a week before the deadline and handed it in with a day to spare.

How long did it take you to write your novel?

I started writing the Afton and Jerome stories in the 1990s, so about twenty-five years! It’s even longer with the Anna and Zenni series, which was begun in 1973. The early manuscript for Warbird was done on an electric typewriter in the 1980s, and I had to scan and OCR it to get it on the computer. The long delay in publication has been beneficial, as they’re all thoroughly edited and polished, and I was able to alter the first books in the series as the plots developed. It’s not that I’m that slow a writer, it’s just that—apart from a brief period in the early 90s, when I actually had an agent—I hadn’t really made much effort to actually get stuff published until the last few years. Real life and work simply got in the way and I hadn’t even thought much about it until I took early retirement from my job and decided it was time to get back to my writing again.

What are your next stories or novels about and how far ahead do you plan?

I’m currently working on the fifth volume in the Zenith-Alpha 4013 series, and there will be a sequel to Warbird and another Afton and Jerome, but those are still in the planning stages. There’s also a half-written fantasy novel, Ladder to the Moon, which I really must finish.

When can we expect to see another release from you?

With Amber Tears should appear in late 2015/early 2016 from Pro Se, and Warbird, volume one should also be out soon.

Thanks for joining us here on Ralph’s Rants, Jilly. Feel free to leave us all some links to your web page or your twitter or facebook accounts as well as your amazon author’s page.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about your writing and books?

When my books were only on my hard drive, unpublished and unshared with anyone, I could dip into them and change bits whenever I wanted. Once they get into print, I can’t do that anymore. The hardest thing is to let go and send them out into the world. You just have to hope that people like them, and I have to say that most of the feedback I get from readers is overwhelmingly positive.

Have a great day, Jilly.

Back at you, Ralph, and thanks for hosting this interview.

As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

Subscribe to my blog! Click on the link at the top of the right hand column to get my daily rants delivered to your inbox.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Andrew Salmon interview-Today we welcome Andrew Salmon to Ralphs Rants does Interviews

Andrew Salmon interview

Hello Andrew and welcome to Ralphs Rants does interviews, How are you doing?

I'm doing all right! Busy over here with projects coming out of my ears but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Andrew you have a new novel out, tell us a bit about it.

SHERLOCK HOLMES: BLOOD TO THE BONE from Fight Card Books. You can guess from the title who the hero of the story is. In it, Holmes and Watson are helping a woman bare knuckle boxer who is part of a tag-team boxing duo working summer carnivals. Her husband has disappeared, which threatens the contract they have with a local carnival and she's out on the street unless he can be found. The Victorian dynamic duo investigate. When her husband turns up dead, supposedly from an accident at the carnival, the fun begins. Holmes, Watson and the female boxer, Eby Stokes, join together to find answers and those answers threaten the very foundation of the Empire.

This is not the first time you have written this character, correct? How many times does this make?

SHERLOCK HOLMES: BLOOD TO THE BONE is my 8th go-round with the dynamic duo. Seven of which are in print and for Kindle, one is in the can but hasn't been released yet and I'm currently writing my third Holmes tale for FIGHT CARD BOOKS.

Is Sherlock Holmes your favorite character to write?

At the moment he is. After snagging a Best Pulp Short Story award with my very first Holmes tale, it was a no-brainer to write more. That initial acceptance has lead to another award win, multiple nominations and great reviews. Over the years writing Holmes, these milestones have shown me that I'm on the right track with my Holmes and Watson stories. And my Holmes work has received the highest accolade any Sherlockian scribe can ever receive: on more than one occasion, my work has been considered on par with Doyle's by some readers! That floors me every time I think about it. What a tremendous, humbling honor.
Thing is, I enjoy writing the tales. I ADORE the research. Watson's voice is cemented into my consciousness and it's not out of the ordinary for Holmes and Watson to have discussions in my head out of the blue. Then it just falls to me to write down what they say. It's scary sometimes. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky that the tales have been my most rewarding work - both personally with awards and accolades but also financially - and that I love writing them. No plans to stop any time soon.

So ‘Blood to the Bone’ is another ‘Fight Card’ novel, which I believe is the second you’ve written about Sherlock. How is this one different than the first?

The first one, SHERLOCK HOLMES: WORK CAPITOL, was really about creating something that had never been done with Holmes in his illustrious career. Building it from the ground up with in-depth research into bare knuckle boxing in Victorian times. Once steeped in the research, I had to figure out how Watson would describe a boxing match and what technique would Holmes use in the ring. Once the heavy lifting was done, all I needed was an engaging plot to keep things moving. The results were some great reviews, satisfied readers, another award nomination and great sales. Not bad for uncharted territory.
Sitting down to write the second one, I realized I could pull it off now that the groundwork had been laid with the first one, but, really, a straight boxing tale would, ultimately, just be more of the same. And that's never good.
Digging around in my research files, I found a small chunk of stuff on women's Victorian boxing I had tucked away. Right on the heels of this, the floodgates opened and I stumbled into a vast wealth of information about the fighters of the time - everything I needed to know, including the first batch of these women being inducted into the Bare Knuckle Boxing Museum's Hall of Fame at the same time I was fleshing out this idea. Being unaware there even were female fighters at that time, it occurred to me that I wasn't alone in my ignorance of these great championesses as they were called back then. Thus BLOOD TO THE BONE was born. Here was a chance to do another Holmes boxing tale yet keep it fresh, new and interesting to readers of the first while shining a light on a forgotten chapter of history.

What is your favorite aspect of writing a ‘Fight Card’ novel?

As I've only written Holmes tales for Fight Card as yet, I'd have to say the research. I so love digging into the past for nuggets of interest, I can't get enough of it. Also, with WORK CAPITOL, it was a chance to do something no one had ever done with Holmes before, something fresh that still read like Doyle. Working with Fight Card's editor, Paul Bishop, has also been a lot of fun. He's a great guy and his enthusiasm for pulp and writing in general is palpable. And I'm looking forward to working with him on more Fight Card projects in the near future.

Andrew, let’s talk about you for a little bit. What is your writing background? How long have you been writing?

I began writing the day I came out of the theater after seeing Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan back in June of 1982. That movie changed my life. I went into the theater a reader. I came out a writer. With no reading background outside of comics back then, I've been wallowing in words ever since. I earned a BA in Creative Writing at university, moved out here to Vancouver twenty years ago to get serious, then bounced around collecting rejection slips until finding Airship 27 on the eve of the e-publishing revolution. Still honing my craft, working hard, but my efforts over the decades are paying off. Earning money, winning awards, hearing from satisfied readers, things are great these days after years of struggle. Still a long way to go but at least I'm on my way now. The train isn't sitting in the station anymore.

How many books do you have out?

Lumping everything together, novels, anthologies and e-shorts, I've published or been part of 26 books to date, most of which are still available in print and for Kindle. And there are more coming. I'm just getting warmed up here.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Historical stuff! I've written numerous genres - sci-fi, sword and sorcery, mystery, hero yarns, horror, hard boiled, I've got a western tale coming out later this year - but, to be specific, it's got to be any of the historical genres. Anything that involves research and shining a light on the world of yesterday gets my juices flowing.

What is the one thing you hate about writing?

Promotion. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, it's just the results that can sometimes be frustrating. You whip a tale into shape, get a great cover, great back cover blurb, price it reasonably, hit all the promotional places you can and... nothing! There are no guarantees and readers can seem so arbitrary sometimes, it's frustrating. But you've got to keep plugging away in search of that magic formula. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

What is the one thing you love? (Notice I wrote the hate question first?)

Everything! Getting the idea, fleshing it out, research, first draft, revisions, seeing that cover art for the first time, putting the whole thing together or watching the publisher do it, then seeing the book get thrown out into the world to sink or swim. Best job in the world! Wouldn't trade it for anything!

How many books do you put out in a year?

One - three though I'm going to increase that starting next year. These last three years I've been doing the Holmes books for Fight Card and those are time consuming. Fun, but time consuming. As a result other projects I've been cooking up have slowed down and I'd like to get to them sooner rather than later.

What is next for you?

Well, this December will see the release of my last Fight Card Sherlock Holmes book. Not because I'm not having a blast writing them, but, at present, I simply don't have an idea for another one. As I mentioned earlier, I don't want to do just more of the same and the three books will cover every aspect of Victorian boxing I see. The first dealt with the men. The second dealt with women and the third will be something of a free for all covering all of the physical abilities Holmes can bring to bear on a problem. That said, if a killer idea comes to me, I'll be back at Baker Street ready to rumble.
I'm not done with Fight Card however. I've got two projects I'm going to work on for them that are not Holmes related. I'm also putting together an omnibus of my shorter Holmes tales from Airship 27. I've just released a Black Bat e-story and want to do more of that. I've been working on a novel now for almost 5 years and plan to finish that up next year as well. I'd like to write more Moon Man stories. Of course, more traditional Holmes tales. I'm also putting together a series with an adventure team I've created. And I want to write a James Bond novella now that the character is public domain here in Canada. I'm always on the lookout for projects from publishers so if anyone out there thinks I'd be a good fit for something they are putting together, please get in touch with me.

Andrew it was great having you here on Ralph’s Rants, feel free to leave links to your website, your twitter feed, your Facebook page and whatever else you may have.

Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/AndrewSalmon/e/B002NS5KR0/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_2
Twitter: @ASalmauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrew.salmon.94
Blog: http://berlin-noir.blogspot.ca/

Thank you for joining us, Andrew, it was a real pleasure, best of luck and until next time take care!

Thanks for inviting me! I very much appreciate it! Best of luck to you in all your endeavors. And, hey, readers out there, keep those pages flipping!

As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

Subscribe to my blog! Click on the link at the top of the right hand column to get my daily rants delivered to your inbox.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ralph's Rants Does Interviews-Welcome Bobby Nash!

Bobby Nash interview

Hi Bobby, how are you? It’s been a while since you were on Ralph’s Rants, glad to see you back again.

BN: Thanks, Ralph. Glad to be back. Thanks for having me.

So what’s new in the world of Bobby Nash? You always have about a hundred things going on so I never know what surprises you have up your sleeve. I think you have somewhere around 20 books out now right?

BN: I do try to keep busy, yeah. (laughs) I don’t have an exact count handy, but I have somewhere around one hundred published stories scattered across novels, anthologies, ebooks, comic books, graphic novels, audio books, and screenplays. I was first published in 1992 and had a few comic books published around that time as well as doing comic strips for a local kids magazine that ran for 12 years. It wasn’t until my first published novel, EVIL WAYS premiered in 2005 that I started to write and get published steadily. Hard to believe that’s been 10 years.

As for what’s new, oh you know how it goes. There’s always a new project or twelve ready to go. I’m currently nearing the end of EVIL INTENT, a novel sequel to EVIL WAYS plus a 10th anniversary EVIL WAYS hardcover edition for my BEN Books imprint. I’m always working on a story for my next Pro Se Signature Series: From The Pen of Bobby Nash story called CRIMSON MOON and writing comic scripts for the forthcoming DOMINO LADY THREESOME comic book series for Moonstone Books. And that’s this week. HA! HA!

So tell us about your newest project, Bobby.

BN: Artist Jamie Chase and I worked on a graphic novel adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ AT THE EARTH’S CORE novel that will be in comic shops on Wednesday, August 19th. It will be available at all other bookselling outlets on September 1st. It is from Sequential Pulp Comics and Dark Horse Comics. I had a great deal of fun working on this one, but also a bit of nervousness. Trying to adapt a well-known and respected author like ERB is a touch scary. Hopefully, the Pellucidar fans will like what we’ve done.

Where is this story set? What era?

BN: AT THE EARTH’S CORE takes place in Pellucidar, the land at the center of the planet Earth. Pellucidar is a thriving ecosystem filled with many races from humans to the most savage of beasts and is ruled by the deadly Mahars. When David Innes and Abner Perry drive their fabled Iron Mole beneath the Earth’s crust, they find themselves trapped in Pellucidar, a land of eternal daylight and danger. How could I not have fun writing that?

Is this an ongoing tale? As in will we see these characters again?

BN: AT THE EARTH’S CORE is the first of Burroughs’ novels set in Pellucidar. Jamie and I are back to work on book #2 now, simply titled PELLUCIDAR. It’s great fun revisiting these characters. If they do well, we hope to be able to adapt all of them. Fingers crossed because Tarzan eventually makes his way to the Earth’s Core, you know?

What drew you to write this story?

BN: This was one of those odd situations where I was hired to work on the book. Once I was signed on, I read the novel and went from there. I’m reading through PELLUCIDAR now and staying just a few chapters ahead of Jamie. Outside of that, it was an easy project to say yes to doing. I read many Edgar Rice Burroughs tales as a kid and loved the sense of adventure found in them. I love writing adventure so it was a delight to play in those worlds ERB created. These stories are classics and I was honored to be invited to be part of them.

You’re one of the busiest and most successful guys around, what else do you have cooking that is going to be coming out soon?

BN: As I mentioned above, AT THE EARTH’S CORE hits this week. Other releases coming up include ESO’S TALES OF THE STATION anthology for the Earth Station One podcast and published by New Legend Productions (I also helped out with the editing on this one), THE BLACK BAT RETURNS from Moonstone Books, SNOW STORM from Stark Raving Press, EVIL INTENT from BEN Books, STRONG WILL from New Legend Productions, V-WARS vol. 5 from IDW, THE RUBY FILES vol. 2 from Airship 27 Productions, plus stories featuring DOMINO LADY, GHOST GAL, THE AVENGER, and more. I don’t know in store dates on all of them yet, but they’re all in some form of production or another.

Are you where you want to be as a writer, Bobby? What I mean is, are you happy the way things are going for you writer-wise?

BN: Never. Or, perhaps I should say, “Yes and no.” Yes, I am very happy with where I am as a writer. I have come a long way from back in 1992 when I had my first story published. I’ve accomplished a lot and am humbled and thrilled to be where I am today. However, the no side of that is that I’m not done. I still have goals to strive toward and I want to continue to do more and be able to support myself with my writing. I also wouldn’t mind seeing the words “New York Times Best Selling” in front of my name, either. That’s a goal, one of many, I’m still working toward.

What to you is the biggest stumbling block to get past as a writer?

BN: There are two.

Time. Time is a big factor. I work a full time day job at present and I have a rather lengthy commute so writing time during the week is short and sometimes non-existent. I spend my weekends writing and doing cons. As you can imagine, there’s never quite enough time to do everything I need to do.

The other stumbling block is me. What’s the old joke? A writer says, “I’ve got a lot of writing to do today so I better get started. But first… let me clean my office.” You can insert almost anything after “But first…” and it’s easy to see how I keep myself away from the writing desk. Deadlines certainly help when it comes to getting past this, but there is also discipline. Once I get in front of the laptop and start writing, I am usually okay. It’s just sitting down that’s the hard part sometimes.

What is the biggest thrill to you as a writer?

BN: Seeing all of my hard work finished and in a physical form I can hold in my hands. Getting that first copy of one of my books is an absolutely amazing feeling. There’s just nothing like it. I hope that’s a sensation that never goes away, no matter how many stories I have published in my lifetime. Second to that, I’ve met some wonderful people who have said some very nice things to me about my books and that is another big thrill. Plus, I’ve gotten to meet many talented people because of my writing. Some of my closest friends are people I’ve met as a result of my writing, whether at a convention, through mutual publishers, social media, and the like. I love the writing community. It is filled with wonderful people.

How far ahead do you plan? What I mean is do you say ‘I‘m going to do this book next and then that one and then that one’? Or do you just do one at a time?

BN: What’s this “plan” thing you speak of? In all seriousness, there is a plan, sort of, most of the time... kinda. I know what projects need to happen and I have a nice white board in my office and a fancy Excel spreadsheet on my computer to help keep track of them. Then I spend my time juggling them as deadlines pop up or galleys or edits come in, which aren’t scheduled most of the time, and I try to juggle as best I can.

Do you think it’s a bad idea to plan far (Several books)  ahead, or do you consider it a strength as a writer?

BN: Oh, it’s absolutely helpful for me. I know all writers have things that work for them, but knowing what needs to be down helps me. The hard part is keeping the new ideas from jumping the line. You have to clamp them down and make them wait. Following your muse is awesome, unless you have a deadline on another story. Plus, if you’re working on a series, it never hurts to have a general idea where you’re going. I have loose plots for future stories with several of my characters stacked up in the corner of my brain just waiting to go. I just have to make the time to get them all done.

What are you strengths as a writer, as you see them?

BN: That’s a good question. I’ve never really thought about it. My writing style is pretty straightforward. I write stories to entertain. I’m not looking to change the world or anything or push an agenda. I write stories that I hope will entertain readers. I guess that’s a strength. I also do my very best not to miss deadlines. I am a writer and I love my job, but I’ve learned to treat it like a job as well, which means writing whether you feel like it or not. It can also mean sleepless nights, weekends spent chained to the writing desk, or whatever it takes to get the job done. It can be a tough job at times, but I absolutely love it.

Finally what does the future hold for Bobby Nash?

BN: Wealth and prosperity. Or so I hope. Ha! Honestly, I don’t know. I have no plans to stop writing any time soon, but the world is a strange place, especially in corporate America. My day job could be gone tomorrow or editors and publishers could stop offering me work. I hope that doesn’t happen, but it is interesting times in which we live. I would love to do more comic books, more novels, and more screenplays. I still have ideas buzzing around in my head and goals not yet met. There’s still a lot of hard work ahead of me, I think.

Bobby, as always it was wonderful having you here and I want to wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors. Feel free to leave our readers your contact information (Web page, twitter handle, facebook page, Amazon Authors page etc.

BN: Thanks, Ralph. This was a lot of fun. I appreciate the opportunity. Here are some links where folks can find me:









Thanks Bobby, looking forward to talking again soon!

BN: You bet, Ralph. Thanks again.


As always all of my own books are available at http://RLAngeloJr.com or http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon

Subscribe to my blog! Click on the link at the top of the right hand column to get my daily rants delivered to your inbox.