Posted in About me, Fun tidbits, Helpful information, interview

Talking with Tom Starita

Hello everyone, meet Tom Starita.  He has recently released his second fiction book.  For those of you who don’t know already I like to get to know the authors behind the stories I am reading.  Today we are meeting American writer Tom Starita.

Author’s Bio:  Tom Starita is the author of two novels, “Two Ways to Sunday” and “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” and makes an impact on everyone he encounters. When asked for her thoughts about him, Oprah Winfrey said, “Who?” Tom Hanks refused to respond to an email asking for a quote and former Mets great Mookie Wilson once waved to him from a passing taxi.

Originally from Staten Island, NY Starita has now found a home in the beautiful beach community of Stratford, Connecticut where he remains a loyal fan of the New York Mets.

Questions

1.      What/Who inspired you to write “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated”?

When the historians look back on the town of Weehawken, NJ they’re going to note two tragedies that resulted in a creative tsunami of epic proportions. The first involved Alexander Hamilton, and led to the play, “Hamilton.” The second involved me, Tom Starita and resulted in, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated.”

Back in February of 2013 I was living in Weehawken and if my life was a rock band I would have been Dire Straits. The week of Valentine’s Day I was diagnosed with approximately 9 strains of the flu. This presented somewhat of a challenge since I was living alone so I decided to hibernate and not die.

That’s exactly what happened.

Come late Friday night I woke up and I was starving. Starving isn’t even the word for it. I was, “alone on an island and don’t know how to fish” hungry. I made my way to the kitchen and remembered I hadn’t gone food shopping in at least a week and a half. I must have opened every door and drawer and my options were baking soda and ice tea. All right, not ideal but I’m in New Jersey, there are diners every five feet, I’ll just drive to one.

That’s when I looked out the window and noticed ten inches of snow.

I was snowed in with no food, no options, no prospects, no hope and that’s when Lucas James came peeking out of my imagination to introduce himself. I ran to the computer and started typing, and I kept typing every day until I finished telling his story.

2. Do you feel you have a personal connection with any of the characters?

People often ask me if Lucas James is really me, which makes me wonder if they think I’m a psychopath! Lucas James was literally the only reason why I got out of bed for a long time, so I’ll always be thankful he showed up. He’s also the ultimate cautionary tale of what happens when a person allows his Id to run rampant.

4. The book’s description ends with “Is ‘growing up’ just another way of saying ‘selling out’ “.  Is this something you have believed?

Nope. When I started writing this book I had no idea of a plot, or an ending or anything else except I knew his voice. I also knew that I wanted to write someone irredeemable and be out front about that and see if I can still convince the reader to like him/root for him. That tag line expressed his viewpoint on life perfectly and should be a red flag for anyone wondering what kind of person/character this is!

I knew I had something when my mom emailed me to say that she didn’t want to like this book but she did. Mission accomplished.

5. So, what is your plan after this book? Will you continue to focus on writing fiction books?

I’m actually shopping my third book now. It’s called, “Total BS (bedtime stories)” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Quick and easy stories for adults to read before bed, or in the bathroom or while commuting on the Staten Island Ferry. They’re weird and funny, and sometimes a little dark as well! And I think there are at least ten of them that could be developed into a movie—but that’s a different conversation!

6. Tell me something random about yourself

I once heckled Paul Anka at the blackjack table at Foxwoods casino. I think the line that cut the deepest was, “you’re no Billy Joel.”

For the record I’m not a Billy Joel fan—although “Downeastern Alexa” is a fun song to sing to.

7. If you were in a life and death karaoke contest what song would you sing?

Great question! Either Bryan Adams, “Summer of 69” or Journey, “Any Way You Want It”

8. Should I buy your book?

Another great question. After careful consideration I’d have to say yes, yes you should.

9. Does this mean that, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” is the best book ever written by a guy from Staten Island, NY who now resides somewhere else?

Admittedly I might be a little biased but yes it is.

10. Worst owners in professional sports?

That’s easy, the Wilpons.

Let’s Go Mets!

 

Book info:

  • ISBN-10: 1520705816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1520705811

Find this author at:

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all @TomStarita

Happy reading!!!

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Posted in Fun tidbits, interview, Poems

Chasing a Butterfly by H.W. Bryce

  • Title: Chasing a Butterfly
  • Author: H.W. Bryce
  • Publisher:
  • Released: 2016
  • Genre: poems

“A journey of love through loss to acceptance”.

* Partial proceeds from the sale of this book are ear- marked for the Alzheimer’s Society to help combat this terrible disease.

Excerpts from book

When I was driven to taking an introductory course to educate myself about my wife’s Alzheimer’s disease, I became tongue-tied and overwhelmed with emotion. It was then that I found a way to express my grief–by writing my feelings and experiences, in poetry. Over the next couple of years, I had compiled about a hundred poems, longish ones, short ones, haiku-style ones.

MEMORABILIA

Oh dear!

A little pile of business cards,

An empty CD box,

Picture postcards—an owl, a heron, one red fox, An orange, a thumb tack, and one stopped watch, All sitting on the stand under the kitchen light, Balanced beside one lady’s slipper, the right.

Ann was here!

Authors bio

H. W. (Herb) Bryce

Former journalist, editor, book editor, teacher, courier, and robbery and kidnap victim while travelling the Middle East and North Africa.

His poetry appears in anthologies in Canada, the US, and, in India.

Mr. Bryce was judge (one of three) for the 2017 Rabindranath Tagore Award Internationl English Poetry Competition.

He is the author of a family book “Ann, A Tribute,” and of “Chasing a Butterfly: A journey in poems of love and loss to acceptance,” the poems of Alzheimer’s and poems for everybody. (Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and FriesenPress.com.)

“Chasing a Butterfly” is available also through the 26 branches of the Fraser Valley Regional Valley system.

H. W. Bryce blogs at http://hwbrycewrites.com

He has been a featured poet and frequent contributor to many venues. With his fellow Alzheimer’s writer John Knapp, of  “Donna’s Story,” he does info gatherings at care homes with readings from their books.

They are available for readings.

Mr. Bryce is a member of the Royal City Literary Society and the Holy Wow Poets Canada.

H. W. Bryce BA University of Western Ontario, now Western University.

What others have to say about Chasing a Butterfly

From the back cover of the book

“Thanks for sharing your heart with us! A family member has Alzheimer’s and I know (though not as deeply as you) the pain and loss when you watch someone you love slowly disappear before your eyes. HUGS.”

-Jo Hannah Afton, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

“My truly talented friend. How blessed I am to have written beside you.”

~Renae Potter, Australia, writer who also became a family caregiver

“Wonderful how your words bring tears and memories back.”

~Irene Nunez Martinez, author, London, who was caregiver to her father

“Simply beautiful…I appreciate the acknowledgement of having given you a seed that you planted, watered, and nurtured into such a heartfelt and meaningful poem.”

~Craig A. Adams, Washington State, USA, caregiver to his wife

Happy reading!!!

Posted in interview, Poems

S. Sulianah’s New Book

Book Title: Masterpiece in Your Heart: A Series of Poetry 2nd Edition (Platinum)

  • Published by Winter Scribbler Publishing
  • Author: S.Sulianah
  • Edited by: Kaitlin Severini
  • Cover and Interior Design: Euan Monaghan
  • Cover Illustration: Vadha Hidayat
  • Arrangements and Concept by S.Sulianah
  • Photographs by S.Sulianah

Photographs taken in New York, New York; Bettles, Anchorage, and Fairbanks, Alaska; Jungfraujoch, Switzerland; Paris, France; London, England; Hong Kong; Yakutsk, and Oymyakon, Russia; and Long Beach, California.

Interview

What do you feel publishing poems of something you feel and think in writing?

When I first tried to self-publish the 1st edition, in terms of designing and desire to publish it, I was very much excited on the outcomes. However, the contents wise, oh, it was challenging in terms of what to share and what not. These poems are only the selected ones from collection of poems I have been writing for years. These are the ones which the contents are not too blatant or exposing too much about what I feel or who I am talking about.

Which of these poems is of significant to you?

I do not have any specific favorites. Each of these are meaningful and it means something when I penned my thoughts and feelings.

However, Cheat Code, the newly added poem for this edition is one which I am proud of. HTML coding is something which I started to learn by myself when I was in college for our projects. We were not taught in our classes but we were required to create webpages for our assignments. So, I made an extra effort to make it more appealing. I have been using it since. In this poem, I used the HTML codes to say something obvious but with codes to maintain its secrecy. If a reader is keen to understand the poem further, they will be able to search the code by themselves to decipher the meaning.

are these poems arranged like a timeline?

I had randomized the sequences as they are written in different time and at different phases of experiences. However, the first poem and last poem, it was intentionally made as an intro and end.

Chemistry is the first poem which reader will start to read. It tells a story on how the contents in the book relates to the relationship and friendship I experienced with the individuals I wrote about. It all starts from the connections in our personality, way of thinking, communicating with one another and feelings for each other. Without the essence, these poems will only be intangible atoms.

Cheat Code is the conclusion of this poetry collection, a metaphoric perspective of this book. Deciphering each of it depends on how the readers relate to themselves. It defines how all of these contents of poetry is unknown. Still a secret and basically no one knows.

Will you share with your readers like who is it about, if ever they asked?

Ermm.. an absolute. No. [Laugh]. It shall be a secret. I want them to read it and if they are feeling connected to it, they might have experienced similar situations as I do.

I can see that there are lots of photographs in this book SUCH AS at the mountain in switzerland and other ones captured mostly from your trips. So, why do you use these pictures in a poetry collection?

When I started the compilation, I wanted to create something different and not merely words. And most of these poems I wrote had somewhat a connection to the pictures. It is like a 2 in 1 value which readers will get from this. Beautiful photographic photos from different places and countries, and poems to soothe their stress days.

Any of these pictures have any significance to you?

Personally, I love all the pictures as how I had enjoyed my trips to all the different places. But I would like to share with you on the most difficult shot of all. The ice crystals accompanying the poem Vena Amoris. This was taken in one of the mountain caves in Oymyakon, Siberia which is known as the Pole of Cold. There are lots of beautiful ice crystals on the walls and ceiling in this cave. I snapped a lot of pictures from different angles, macro focus and the limited lighting to illustrate a beautiful crystallite but I ended up liking only two out of all those shots.

So, what is your next plan after this book? Will you STILL BE focusing on poetry and same theme?

I have some plans, yeah but high chances it will be totally different from what I have done now. I have something in mind and is in the making but well, we will see. Poetry.

Available in Paperback and Hardcover:

1. Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/masterpiece-in-your-heart-s-sulianah/1128569353?ean=9789811168789

2. Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Masterpiece-Your-Heart-PoetrySulianah/dp/9811168784/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

3. Winter Scribbler Publishing – http://www.winterscribbler.com

* Paperback version ISBN 978-981-11-6878-9

* Hardcover version ISBN: 978-981-11-6877-2

Happy reading!!!!

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