[Helping authors promote their books. Being profiled does not necessarily mean I recommend the book.]
Why did you feel you had to tell this story?
Raised in the 70's, men ruled. Women, well, didn't. It's changing, but very slowly. Dating, I practically interviewed the guys while they blithely blatted on about themselves, rarely turning questions around. Most men I've known are into their careers, their hobbies, way more than into their partners, or even their kids. They live inside their heads, which makes them very hard to reach emotionally. James Whren, the protagonist in Reverb, is like this, leaving those involved with him rather...lonely. I wrote his story to fix him, make him more connected outside himself, turn him into an emotionally aware, loving man most women still dream about being with.
Where are you from?
When and why did you begin writing?
Like most authors, been writing my entire life. First diaries and journals to help get feelings out of me. Spilling them onto the page eased their intensity. Wrote a screenplay as first real pro work. Was working for George Lucas, doing film degradation analysis, and got mad he made the idiotic film Howard the Duck with all his $$ and resources. And wrote him a scathing letter saying so, even though reviewing wasn't my job, or remotely related to it. I thought I'd get fired, but got a call from his secretary. “George read your little note,” she said. Shit! I didn't know George from a hole in the wall, never met him, never worked directly with him. “He says, if you've got a better script or story, then send it to him. And he agrees, Howard was a waste of film.”
I didn't have anything better for him right then. But I had ideas. I've always been a proficient liar (uh, storyteller). So I went to UCLA Film School for two years to learn how to write a script. And did. Wrote A Possible Future, which I never sent George because by then I wasn't working for him anymore and had no idea how to reach him. And I had to get back to my real job in marketing because I was going broke as a student and writer. Rewriting A Possible Future right now, into a short story and then a novel. Story is Top Gun meets ET, along with a glimpse of our world in 20 yrs...Now, doesn't this sound like something Lucas could make into a great film?
Which writer would you consider a mentor?
Ray Bradbury. John Fowles. Fyodor Dostoyevshy (Crime and Punishment). Rod Serling! Jeez, I could go on forever, but no.
Which if any of the characters is a lot like you and why?
Ah, who I want to be, not am. Elisabeth, in Reverb. She's got her head on straight, has taught me some things, like giving space to my partner, while expecting, demanding he be with me, connected to me during our interactions and throughout our lives together. But I have a hard time putting patience, tolerance, and hope in motion like she does.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
Seven years, three full rewrites, and countless edits, by both me and pros, and marketing it is easily the hardest part of creating the novel. Reverb is literary fiction, though pub said lit fiction wasn't hip, slick and trendy enough. So, since Reverb is a love story at its core, went with romantic suspense. Also, I'm a recluse, prefer watching in the background to the limelight. Putting myself out there at readings and such is really, really hard for me. Been invisible most of my life, but I write to be read, so I guess I'm going to have to change that. Hmm...
What is your favorite chapter or part and why?
Three quarters of the way through the book, James 'gets it.' Don't know exact chapter, but he understands the man he was, and the man he'd like to become for Elisabeth. In fact, James decides to be that man by active listening, questioning, and paying attention to what is said, and what is not, as most women do, by staying out of his own head and working hard at getting into hers.
What has been the best part about writing this book?
Writing it. Editing it. Rewriting it, making it clearer, tighter. Love the writing process!
What would you like your readers to grasp from this book?
Our societal roles are changing. Up until, like, now, men have been the breadwinners, and after a day at work, came home, got served dinner, then went to watch TV or read the paper while the wife cleaned up, and worked into the night with the kids and housework. Because of this social breakdown, men have been allowed to remain aloof, focus on developing their creativity and advancing their career, leaving most women to be merely the link connecting their men to them and the family.
We no longer live in that world. Women are half the workforce. We, too, need to focus our energies on our own careers, but we're still left to also deal with being the connector of the family, handle our jobs, and the bulk of the responsibility for maintaining that connection. Why?
Time for men to get out of their heads, and on the page with women. Men need to work as hard as we do at communicating, sharing, truly integrating into the lives they intimately touch.
How would you describe your current writing environment?
Have a Tuffshed I turned into an office. Works great! Except for the dog barking at the neighbors!
Do you see writing as a career?
A passion. A need. A longing. But not a career, yet. Not enough money in it to get two kids through college, or live on, so far. Every time someone buys a copy of my work two things happen: 1. It breathes life into the characters in the story, validates them, makes them real to more than just me. (Scary, them coming even more alive, a bit surreal, but cool!) 2. Gives me permission to write fiction instead of ad copy or website content (my other career)!
Hope springs eternal that my work will go viral, readers who like the works will chat them up, and I'll be able to write fiction full time! (and even writing the words, I hear angels singing ; )
Thank you for opening up to us a bit. Yikes, glad George Lucas didn't fire you! Oh, I finished this book yesterday and Ms Cafesin I think you'll be writing full time! Wow!
Review to come on Friday so be sure to come back then!
Read excerpt HERE
James Micheal Whren is brilliant, beautiful, rich, and taken—with his genius for creating music. He's desired by many, yet commits to no one but his muse. Just twenty-eight, and at the pinnacle of his career, on the eve of his brother's funeral his father shatters his life, and James is left abandoned in hell with no one real to save him. His odyssey to freedom takes him beyond the looking glass, to the reflection of friends and lovers. Humbled and alone, James escapes to the Greek island of Corfu. But instead of finding solace there, loneliness almost consumes him. Until Elisabeth, and her son, Cameron. Reverb is a love story, a psychological thriller paced with romantic suspense. In the spirit of The Magus (John Fowles, 1966), and way beyond Fifty Shades of Gray (E.L. James, 2011), the story chronicles intricately woven characters fraught with frailties that possess us all, and that linger long after the read. It is a tale of redemption—the evolution of a modern man from solipsist to integrated awareness, and the journey that inadvertently awakens his capacity to love. Reverb satisfies one of women's deepest desires—for men to be more emotionally available, and more connected outside of themselves.
Buy now! :)