Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Episode 27: Conversations Over Milk & Cookies - Daniel Dombrowski

Welcome to Episode 27 of Conversations over Milk & Cookies hosted by Kindle Ninja. 

Hi, Kindle Ninja here. You know, the ninja who occasionally stalks indie authors and invites them to Conversations over Milk & Cookies. 

What is this madness, you ask? It's my way of supporting indie authors, and now, publishers! We interact with them everyday, directly through tweets, or indirectly through re-tweets, but we don't really know much about them. Their personalities really don't shine through in 140 characters. 

Of course, that changed considerably when the Milk & Cookies segment was born. Since its inception, we've seen the funny side, silly side, dark side, and all other sides that these wonderful authors don't let show. 

Today, I'm having a conversation with author and publisher Daniel J. Dombrowski of 33rd Street Press.

Dan (we can call you Dan, right?) is running a Kickstarter for Nonlocal Science Fiction #1 through February 14th, and it’s a great chance to get limited edition swag and advance copies. He wants you to be  a part of something awesome!


Let's get to know Daniel in more than 140 characters, shall we?
 
KINDLE NINJA (KN):  Welcome to Conversations over Milk and Cookies. How do you like your cookies? Chewy? Crunchy? Crumbly? Something else?

DANIEL: When I was younger, my father was a regional distributor for Pepperidge Farms. We always had cookies around, but usually, if we got to eat them, it was because they were slightly beyond the expiration date. There’s this one variety called Brussels that’s two thin little crunchy wafer cookie with a layer of chocolate in between. When they get stale enough, they get pretty flexible, to the point where you can bend them around your finger without breaking them. I have cravings for those to this day, but it seems silly to buy them and let them sit around for a couple of weeks.


Hah! Fantastic! Good to know I'm not alone. I let cookies/biscuits sit around too. I’d assume I’m the person you’d want to drink Milk with, but who’s the person you’d want to have coffee with?
Either Isaac Asimov or Philip K. Dick. Both writers created such unique literary universes. I’d just want to see how their minds worked. I think I’m a little more similar to Asimov as a writer and how I edit – very precise and methodical and measured. But I aspire to be more like Philip K. Dick – funny, completely unique, and more than a little insane.

Writers are very interesting (and sometimes quirky) people with strange rituals. Have you met some of them lately?
I don’t know much about the rituals or habits of my writer, unfortunately, because we communicate mainly via email. I’m also working with several first-time authors, so they maybe haven’t had the time to develop many idiosyncrasies. I’m planning to do a series of podcasts where I interview each of the authors from the first issue. Hopefully I’ll get some good dirt there.

At the moment, I get to know the authors by their digital footprints. By far the most unique and weird (and I say that with admiration, not scorn) of the authors in the first issue is H. C. Turk. He’s an author, a musician, a photographer, and an artist. I don’t understand half of what he does or says, but he’s brilliant. His story “In The Days Of Still Pictures” is one of the standouts in the first issue for sure.



What’s your strange writing ritual?
I wish I had one. I’m entirely too methodical when I write. I sit down and just do it, and I’m rarely happy with any of it, at least on the fiction end. I think if I had some strange habit or ritual, something that put me more in the moment and freed up my head a little more, I’d probably be a little happier with the results. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

I suggest a ritual involving doughnuts. So, how do you feel about doughnuts without holes?
You need to have a place to put the cream or jelly! If you put a hole in the middle of every donut, you’d be limiting potential for deliciousness in a way that would be entirely unacceptable.

What’s the book you wished you’d published?
Foundation. Asimov basically invented modern sci-fi, and Foundation and all of the sequels and prequels are his masterpiece. I think the Nebula Awards named them the greatest sci-fi series of all time at some point, and I don’t think anything will ever seriously challenge that title. To have been a part of publishing that series would have been incredible. The original trilogy was first published as a serial in Astounding Magazine throughout the 1940s. It’s one of the reasons I want to make my own sci-fi magazine – to give writers a medium to throw out new ideas. You never know where it might lead.

 Dan is talking about this sci-fi magazine:
 

Nonlocal Science Fiction #1 is a sci-fi magazine for genre lovers looking for fresh, new talents. It’s a true partnership between a publisher and the authors, and it’s only the first step for what Dan wants to do with 33rd Street Digital Press. 
 


I know you’re a writer too, so, if you were to write your life story, what would be the title?
The Boy Who Refused To Be Normal

What’s the sci-fi book you wished you’d written?
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. World mythologies have always fascinated me, and the way that book ties the whole concept of gods, both old world and new, together to create this fantastically dark and twisted world blew my mind. I’m an old-school, golden age, hard sci-fi guy at heart, but that book is special.

Greatest sci-fi character of all time.
R. Daneel Olivaw. If you’ve never read Asimov extensively, you should. R. Daneel is there pretty much at the beginning, right at the end, and a lot of really interesting places in between. The cohesiveness of Asimov’s fictional universe, the fact that pretty much everything he wrote ties together in some way into this one giant timeline, is possibly the greatest sci-fi literary achievement of all time.

Sex and the City character you identify the most.  (hah! This is a curve ball! lol)
Ummm…who was the main one? Carrie? She was a writer, right? I think that was the framing device for the show.

Okay, you can be Carrie, and I'd be Samantha LOL. Book you’ve read because everyone has read it.
I’m working on Gone Girl at the moment when I have the time. I’m finding it very…self-indulgent. I’m not a big fan of extraneous description and back story that doesn’t add to the character or the narrative. Gillian Flynn is clearly a gifted writer, but if I had been her editor, that book would be about half as long.

What’s your favorite word?
Serendipitous. It describes my life for the past several months, and it’s just fun to say.

Least favorite word.
Till, when it’s used as slang for ‘until.’ I’ve ranted about this in several places. It’s in dictionaries as an acceptable usage, but I disagree. First, ‘till’ is already a word with several definitions (money drawer/box, the money in the drawer/box itself, turning up soil for planting, soil left behind by a melting glacier). Second, the actual word only has one L. If till is slang for until, you’ve lost two letters and added one. It doesn’t seem worth it. If you insist on using the slang, and it should only ever be used in dialogue unless you want to look like a hack, use a leading apostrophe and don’t add the extra L: ‘til.

If you were to create an energy drink for writers and publishers, what would be the ingredients? And what would you call it?
Philip K. Dick was famous for writing for days on end while consuming nothing but whiskey and potassium tablets. I’d bottle that and call it Dreaming of Electric Sheep or something. I don’t know how energetic it would make you, but it’s worth a shot.

What would you rather be doing now? (instead of answering these questions).  
Editing some fantastic submissions for Nonlocal Science Fiction #2.

 If a ninja were to challenge you to a duel of sorts, what weapon would you use?
That gun that Roland carries in The Dark Tower series. That thing would mess a guy up.

And who will win?
Probably the ninja.

What song would you be probably caught dancing to?
I won’t dance. Don’t ask me. My heart won’t let my feet do things that they should do.

If ninjas were to raid your fridge, what would they find in there?
Leftovers of whatever delicious meal my wife made the night before, chocolate milk, and lots of Coke Zero.

 What’s the first three books in your TBR pile?  
The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller, Neuromancer by William Gibson, and about a dozen submissions for Nonlocal that I haven’t gotten to yet.

Do you think I’m too nosey? ;)
No. You’re wonderful.

 On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you about life right now?
10. I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing for the first time in my life, and it feels awesome.

FAST ROUND:

Underwater or Outer space?
Outer space. Who wants to be underwater?

Puppies or Kittens?
Puppies.

Oscars or Grammys?
Oscars.

Star Wars or Star Trek?
Both. Simultaneously.

Ninjas or Aliens?
Both. Simultaneously.

Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed the milk and cookies.
I did! Thanks for including me!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Episode 26: Conversations Over Milk & Cookies - Clara Grace Walker

Welcome to Episode 26 of Conversations over Milk & Cookies hosted by Kindle Ninja. (The first for 2015!)

Hi, Kindle Ninja here. You know, the ninja who occasionally stalks indie authors and invites them to Conversations over Milk & Cookies. 

What is this madness, you ask? It's my way of supporting indie authors. We interact with them everyday, directly through tweets, or indirectly through re-tweets, but we don't really know much about them. Their personalities really don't shine through in 140 characters. 

Of course, that changed considerably when the Milk & Cookies segment was born. Since its inception, we've seen the funny side, silly side, dark side, and all other sides that these wonderful authors don't let show. 

Today, I'm having a conversation with author Clara Grace Walker.

A born lover of soap operas, mystery and romance, bestselling author Clara Grace Walker
writes about sex, scheming and murder. She fixes broken characters. 

  
'If James Patterson and Elmore Leonard wrote romance novel together while binge-watching 'Dynasty' the result would be...MY BOOKS (Desire Never Dies Trilogy)'

Let's get to know Clara in more than 140 characters, shall we?
 
(


Welcome to Conversations over Milk and Cookies.  How do you like your cookies?  Chewy?  Crunchy?  Crumbly?  Something else?

Chewy, and preferably warm.

I’d assume I’m the person you’d want to drink Milk with, but who’s the person you’d want to have coffee with?

Ernest Hemingway … and then spend hours talking about writing.

Writers are very interesting (and sometimes quirky) people with strange rituals.  What is your strange writing ritual?

Quirky?  Hey, I resemble that remark! :) In reality, I must be warm, relaxed and comfortable.  Under the best possible circumstances, poolside or at the beach.

If your novel “Gossip” would be made into a movie, who do you want to play the main characters?

http://www.amazon.com/Gossip-Desire-Never-Dies-Book-ebook/dp/B00HAS2V5W
Click to Read Ninja's Review

 For Nick, definitely Karl Urban.  I used him as my “visual model” for Nick.  Jamie is a bit tougher, because, though I could picture her perfectly in my mind, I had no visual model for her.  I do think, however, Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones, comes close.  I imagine Rod as a slightly taller, markedly balder version of Jason Statham. For Sarge, Aisha Hinds comes pretty close to how I envision this no-nonsense police sergeant.

Check out the other books in the series:


http://www.amazon.com/Gratification-Desire-Never-Dies-1/dp/1500310573/http://www.amazon.com/Redemption-Desire-Never-Dies-Book-ebook/dp/B00L5KZ874/



How do you feel about doughnuts without holes?

I only care if they taste good. :)

What’s the  book you wished you’d written?

'A Farewell to Arms'

If you were to write your life story ,what would be the title

Are You Kidding Me?

I'd read that! ...'Sex and the City' character you identify with the most.

LOL!  I’ve never watched that show, so I have no idea.

Are you kidding me? LOL ... Book you’ve read because everyone has read it.

'Of Mice and Men' … and I loved it!

What’s your favourite word?

Synchronicity

Least favourite word.

No

What would rather be doing now? (instead of answering these questions).

Having cocktails at the pool…at least I’m having cocktails…lol!  :)

What song would you probably be caught dancing to?

'Jealousy' by Nick Jonas, or 'Dynamite' by Taio Cruz

If ninjas were to raid your fridge, what would they find in there?

The staples for breakfast: milk, eggs, butter, bread; plus fruit and vegetables, juices, cheese and some chocolate pudding.

What’s in your purse right now?

My wallet, sunglasses, checkbook, eos lip balm, lipstick, hand sanitizer, keys, pens, notepads, my checkbook … really, just way too much stuff

I made you look didn't I? LOL Do you think I’m too nosey? 

Of course not!  :)

On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you about life right now?

It’s going great…but always leave room for improvement.  :)

FAST ROUND:

Underwater or Outerspace?

Underwater

Puppies or Kittens?

Kittens

Oscars or Grammys?

Grammys

Arrow or The Flash?

The Flash

Ninjas or Romance writers?

Both  :)

A safe answer. 

Thanks for your time, Clara. Hope you enjoyed the milk and cookies :) 


 Follow Clara Grace Walker on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Kindle Ninja Yearender Report

 A look at the year that was

Some numbers...

 

March 2014 Kindle Ninja Book Reviews was born

61 Posts

23,423 Page views

5,199 Page views of the most popular post

70 Books read

64 Books reviewed

2,382 Twitter followers  

4451 Tweets 

25 Conversations Over Milk & Cookies (Author Interviews)

573 Cookies consumed during those conversations (probably more).

4 Books I've read that were written by the same author 

1 Video Review created


Some specifics...

Most Popular Post: Episode 15 Conversations Over Milk & Cookies - Danica Cornell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Popular Review: Between Octobers by AR Rivera [Two Reviewers, One Book - Joint Review with Author Wendy Storer]

 


Most Commented Post and Most Google +: Episode 24 Conversations over Milk & Cookies - Effrosyni Moschoudi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Popular Feature: This Conversation May or May Not Have Happened (a.k.a. Kindle Ninja's Top 10 Books 2014)

 

The First Ever Conversation Over Milk & Cookies. Episode 1: Marlena Hand.

This started the most popular segment on this blog.

 










Survey says...

In Conversations Over Milk & Cookies episodes, I asked authors to choose between:

Dan Brown and Nicholas Sparks 
 Winner: DAN BROWN
J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer 
  Winner: J.K. ROWLING
Ninja and **____    
  Winner: NINJA
**Worthy Opponents: Vampires, Zombies, Mold Killers, Giant Spiders, Rockstars, Bad Dogs, Muggles, Hitchikers, Witches, Kangaroos, Cops, Photographers Aliens, Ghosts, Pirates, Penguins, Dentists, Teddy Bears, Dragons, Greek Gods, Porn Detective, Time Travellers.
Final Score: Ninja -11, Others -9, Draw - 3, Neither -1, Ninja forgot to ask author - 1



Thank you for making 2014 a NINJATASTIC year!