Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Interview with 'Bad Taste in Men' Lana Cooper




Lana Cooper was born and raised in Scranton, PA and currently resides in Philadelphia. A graduate of Temple University, she doesn't usually talk about herself in the first person, but makes an exception when writing an author bio. Cooper has written extensively on a variety of pop culture topics and has been a critic for such sites as PopMatters and Ghouls On Film. She's also written news stories for EDGE Media, a leading nationwide network devoted to LGBT news and issues. Cooper enjoys spending time with her family, reading comic books, books with lots of words and no pictures, and avoiding eye-contact with strangers on public transportation. "Bad Taste In Men" is her first full-length novel.

Her latest book is the humorous nonfiction, Bad Taste in Men.

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Q: Thank you for this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing background?

Thank YOU for interviewing me! Ever since I was a kid, I loved writing. When I was in elementary school, I would write short stories and "screenplays" with characters based on
my favorite cartoons. I was obsessed with television shows and had a huge binder full of TV show recaps I wrote. Just for kicks, I'd write about plotlines and character development in great detail for shows like The Golden Girls, Married… With Children, and Gilligan's Island. On one hand, it spoke volumes about my rank on the elementary school social ladder. But on the other hand, I was ahead of my time and recapping before recapping was "a thing."

During high school, I wrote my share of not-too-shabby short stories and some bad poetry and lyrics. After college, I let my writing fall by the wayside until 2006. I was pretty entrenched in a day job that wasn't exactly giving me a creative outlet. Like many a 9 to 5-er, I developed a combination of complacency and Stockholm Syndrome, which pretty much dampened my creative spark.

I got a hard wakeup call in 2005 after my mother passed away. She had been an English teacher and was always supportive of me honing my talents. After she passed, I felt pretty directionless. Somehow, I decided that I needed more direction… And a tattoo. I decided I wanted a small, colorful bat since bats have internal radar to navigate through the darkness. Sounded like what I needed. While I was in the chair getting my tattoo, I had a great conversation with my artist. He told me, point blank, that I needed to get up off my ass and start writing.

It was as simple as that. I began combing Craigslist and other websites for writing opportunities. Within that first year, I kept my day job and began a career as a freelancer on the side. I ended up writing a syndicated professional wrestling column, recapping TV shows for a website (it all comes full circle, eh?), and became a music and pop culture critic for PopMatters.com – a site I still contribute to today.  Later on, I branched out into freelance journalism and had a chance to interview several musicians, sports figures, and activists. Freelancing eventually led me to my current job as a copywriter / editor with a digital marketing firm here in Philly.

It's been a long and winding road. There were some times in my life where it seems I "lost the plot," but it always circles back to writing for me. I love playing with the written word. It doesn't matter if it's ad copy, reviewing someone else's art, or creating new stories and characters of my own. It's something I really love doing and I kick myself for those years where I did more dreaming than doing.

Q: What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

I'm actually a lot nicer and friendlier than I appear on the surface. I think sometimes people see a girl with long black hair and a few tattoos and automatically assume I have an edge. In reality, I love meeting new people and hearing their stories – where they came from, what they love. I'm the type of person who can get very attached to people. I just want to take them all under my wing, buy them coffee, chat and help them out with whatever I can. I know life has a tendency to throw people curveballs, so if I can help them swing back and give 'em a few pointers, that's cool. I try to be a little bit more reserved with that since I've gotten burned a few times in that department, but I really do like people a lot more than I let on.

Q: What scares you the most?

Utter and abject failure. A little failure is good for the soul. No one ever learned anything from winning all the time. But when it's a failure so epic and monumental that makes you feel like you can't do anything right, that's a dark, scary feeling.

Q: What makes you happiest?

Hanging out with my family and friends and doing nothing in particular besides having a good laugh.

Q: What are you most proud of in your personal life?

That I got as far as I have in life without being fake or kissing ass. When I was a kid, my mother always told me, "You have to play the game" and appear a certain way to people in order to get ahead. While she was always very supportive of my creative pursuits, this was one area where she and I butted heads.

It never felt right to me to try to put on a false front just to get my foot in the door someplace. If you do that, people will eventually find you out. I'd rather be myself and have people not like me for whatever reason than to pretend to be someone else and be found out later.

I'm not saying that you should go into a job interview wearing a Slayer t-shirt and then proceed to fart and belch your way through your resume. There are certain professional courtesies you need to adhere to. Everyone deserves to be shown respect. You gotta dress the part for the job you want, but you should never fudge your credentials or claim to like something you really don't care for. Always be yourself. Otherwise, you'll just be miserable.

Q: What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Marketing! The self-publishing revolution has made it a little easier to get published than the traditional route, but if you're going down the self-publishing path, you've got to be prepared to be your own merciless editor and proofreader. However, even if you are a traditionally published author or self-published, there's a lot more required of authors from a marketing perspective than you'd think. It's not always easy to take off your creative writer hat and get in the mindset of speaking to specific readership demographics or figuring out a way to align your book with what's currently popular on the literary landscape. Marketing is definitely the hardest part.

Q: Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? 

To me, success in writing would mean being able to wake up and have the luxury of sitting down at my computer to create for a solid eight hours.  I'd love to have a fan base – small, large, somewhere in between – that enjoys what I write and gets something positive out of it. I'd define success as being able to write safe in the knowledge that I can keep a roof over my head and still have a little left over to put in the bank or share with family and friends.  I don't live extravagantly. My main vices are yerba mate, comic books, and binge-watching Netflix. I grew up in a household where, if you made $40k a year, you were filthy, stinkin' rich. If I could net $40k a year and do nothing but write, I'm down with that. Who needs a 401k or retirement fund when you love what you do? Hell, most of my generation will probably wind up eating cat food anyway, so you may as well chow down on Fancy Feast while you're doing something you enjoy.

Q: Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

My new book is called Bad Taste In Men. It's a coming of age novel told from the perspective of a geeky, awkward female metalhead who's more of a tomboy than a girly-girl. The story follows a girl named Nova Porter through her pre-teen years through young adulthood and her attempts at getting dudes to dig her – often with disastrous results. Pope Francis would have an easier time scoring a date than Nova Porter.
The bulk of the story is set in the mid-'90s, but the themes and events of the novel are something that just about anyone from any generation can relate to. Almost everyone has dealt with unrequited love or has felt rejected or awkward at some point in their lives.
I wrote the novel because I felt that there weren't many books for those rough-and-tumble chicks with a crude sense of humor who still had a soft side. I came of age in the '90s and that era is experiencing a nostalgic renaissance right now. It's a throwback what life in the '90s was really like for the teens that couldn't identify with the 90210 scene. (And it's a great way to show these young whippersnappers today how you had to stalk your high school crush without the benefit of cell phones and social media!)

Q: When you are not writing, how do you relax?

I love to hang out with family and friends. And I like to curl up with a nice cup of tea, snuggle with my favorite stuffed animal (don't judge me, man!), and mainline TV shows and old movies on Netflix. I love reading, too.

Q: Please tell us why we should read your book?

Bad Taste In Men is a good read for people who grew up in the '90s and want to relive – and laugh at – some of the awkward moments from their own teen years. It's also a good read for teens and young adults who are currently going through their own dating disasters or who feel like they don't fit in. Sometimes, it's reassuring to hear another voice (even if it's in the form of a fictional character) echo your own sentiments and make you realize that "Hey! Maybe there's nothing wrong with me after all." The book has a good degree of snarky humor, but it's also got a lot of heart and genuinely emotional moments, too.

Q: What kind of advice would you give other authors just getting their feet wet?

Don't be afraid of rejection. Sure, those first few rejection letters might sting, but keep creating and keep going out there swinging. Some of the best writers have been rejected. Very often, it's a matter of being the guy or gal who hangs in there the longest. If you stick around long enough and keep trying, you not only get better at writing, but you increase the odds of someone discovering your work. And if you keep getting rejected, find a way to create new opportunities for yourself. Never give up!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Blitz! The Murders at Astaire Castle by Lauren Carr - Win Books!


We're happy to be hosting Lauren Carr and her THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE Book Blitz today!


Title: Married One Night
Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin Superromance
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON
- See more at: http://theliterarynook.blogspot.com/#sthash.phdOBY3i.dpu

Title: The Murders at Astaire Castle
Author: Lauren Carr
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Pages: 286
Genre: Mystery
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

Mac Faraday Meets the Wolf Man!



Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.

In The Murders at Astaire Castle, Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop—even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!
Topping the list of the ten most haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago—and Mac Faraday owns it!
In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.
“Halloween has always been a fun time,” best-selling author Lauren Carr explains in a note at the beginning of her fifth Mac Faraday mystery. “It’s the time to break out and be someone else. As a child, I would pretend to be one of the Bobbsey Twins searching for clues to lead me to a secret treasure. If I was lucky, it was made up of chocolate. As a teenager, I was Nancy Drew. Always, when October rolled around, I craved mysteries with something extra added—something beyond the normal—something supernatural. As an author, I couldn’t resist taking this one Mac Faraday Mystery on a scary Halloween adventure.”
In this latest installment of Carr’s hit series, what starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet—including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.

Book Excerpt:

Prologue



November 2002 – Astaire Castle, top of Spencer Mountain, Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Shivering, Rafaela turned up the fan for the heater in her old Plymouth. The weather channel was calling for snow. With an eye on the storm clouds heading straight for Spencer Mountain, she picked up the speed a notch. Her car bumped along the worn road cut through the trees and rock to take her to Astaire Castle.
The notion of being trapped at the castle by a winter storm made her curse the day she had accepted the job as housekeeper at the Astaire estate. The young illegal immigrant thought her prayers had been answered by landing the job at the luxurious estate. Not only was it prestigious to work in a castle, but lucrative since Damian Wagner was paying almost twice her normal hourly wage.
What a gem to put on my housekeeping resume! To be hire by only one of the world’s most famous authors of horror books—even more famous than Robin Spencer—to clean an honest-to-goodness castle. So what if the Astaire Castle has a reputation of being haunted? I’ll be making a bundle for cleaning five days a week in the daylight. Besides, I don’t believe in no ghosts.
Rafaela regretted her decision the first time she walked into Astaire Castle.
At first, she dismissed her cleaning supplies moving from where she had left them as forgetfulness.  Then there was the time she kept hearing someone whispering her name. She had looked around, but never saw anyone. Same with doors closing or opening or footsteps coming up behind her, and the old-time music and party noises in empty rooms when no one was there—she tried to tell herself that it was all her imagination.
None of that was anything compared to the Wolf Man who she had seen in the dining room mirror while she was cleaning it.
She had heard all about the Wolf Man who lived in the woods surrounding Astaire Castle. The woman with two teenagers who lived in the apartment next to hers was quick to tell her about him. Rafaela had dismissed it all as ghost stories made up by her neighbor’s kids to scare her—until she had seen him with her own two eyes.
That day she ran out of the castle. She returned only after Genevieve, Damian Wagner’s daughter, had promised that her father finish his book and be moving out of the castle by the end of the year—at which time he would pay her a handsome bonus that would give her enough money to visit her family in Brazil for Christmas.
Rafaela caught her breath when her Plymouth entered through the gate at the end of the road to pull into the front courtyard and fountain.
The fountain was off. Damian Wagner had never bothered to turn it on. He wouldn’t notice if it was. He spent his time banging away on his computer in the study on the top floor. He wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for his daughter bringing food to him.
Then there was the editor—Mr. Jansen.
He reminded Rafaela of a bird with his bony frame, high cheekbones over a pointy chin, and thick eyeglasses with his blinking eyes magnified behind them. He sounded like a squawking bird with his high-pitched voice no matter what his mood or what he was saying. Ready to pounce in anticipation of any need from Damian Wagner, he was always lurking nearby.
Damian’s daughter, Genevieve, was as charming as beautiful. She often asked Rafaela about her family in Brazil and about her life in Deep Creek Lake.  For the new immigrant to America, Rafaela felt as if she was making a friend who would give her good references for more housekeeping jobs in the resort town of Spencer—more millionaire estates to clean—estates that weren’t haunted.
Rafaela pulled her car around the circular drive and parked at the bottom of the steep steps that led to the front door. When she got out of her car, the wind howled and whipped her long dark hair around her head. The wind actually seemed to want to rip her thin coat off her body. Grabbing her box of cleaning supplies, she squared her shoulders, and sucked up her nerve to go inside.
Need to make this quick. They don’t have enough money to make me stay here during that storm.
The wind yanked the heavy wooden door from her grasp to slam it against the side of the house.
“Stupid door!” Rafaela set the box inside the foyer and went outside to grab the door and pull it shut. “Mr. Wagner! Mr. Jansen! Genevieve! It’s me, Rafaela! Hope I’m not disturbing you.” She picked up the box and made her way through the foyer.
“Raf-aela …”
She stopped. With wide eyes, she peered up the staircase to the second floor balcony. “Is that you, Mr. Wagner?” She paused to listen. “Genevieve?”
“Get out. Now.”
Has to be my imagination. She reassured herself. “There’s no such thing as ghosts. There’s no such thing as ghosts,” she muttered over and over to herself while hurrying to the back of the castle.
“I don’t suppose you had any trick-or-treaters last night, did you?” she called out to ease her nerves with the sound of her own voice. “Not up here I suppose.”
She waited for an answer. She heard footsteps on the floor up above.
The smell of burnt meat came to her nose. It smelled like steak that had been left on the grill for too long.
They must have grilled steaks last night.
“Lots of little children stopped by my apartment.” Feeling braver as she rattled on, Rafaela set the box of cleaning supplies on the kitchen table and gathered together her duster and furniture polish.
Best to start in the living room. The antiques, wood, and silver takes the longest.
Admiring the decades-old priceless china encased in the china closet, she went through the dining room. With her cleaning lady’s eye, she gauged what needed to be addressed on this visit that she may have missed before. She stopped when the blotch of red on the doorframe through the kitchen caught her eye.
What’s that? Catsup?
It wasn’t until she spotted a spot on the floor that she first considered that it wasn’t a condiment, but something much more sinister.  She spotted another. Bigger this time … and another.
There was a red pool in front of the kitchen door that opened out onto the back patio and deck that projected out over the rocks to provide a massive view of the valley down below. All of the drops and splatters and pools led to the common source—the fire pit outside.
She saw the flames and smoke wafting in the wind whipping around her where she stood in the open doorway. She stared at the blackened objects in the pit. What at first appeared to be a burnt log projecting out of the flames took shape.
The hand and fingers reached out to her.
The index finger was pointing at her.
Through the rapid beating of her heart, Rafaela could hear the footsteps behind her coming closer.
“Get out!”
His image was reflected in the glass pane of the door. The wild hair. The crazed eyes.
It’s the Wolf Man!


Watch the Trailer!


About the Author:


Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
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 Giveaway!

Lauren is giving away one paperback copy, two ebook copies and three audiobooks of THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE!


Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Six winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins October 6 and ends October 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Interview with William R. Leibowitz, author of Miracle Man






William R. Leibowitz has been practicing entertainment/media law in New York City for a number of years.  He has represented numerous renowned recording artists, songwriters, producers and many of the leading record companies, talent managers, merchandisers and other notable entertainment businesses.  At one point, he was the Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel for the Sanctuary Group of Companies, a U.K. public company that was the largest ‘indie’ music company in the world (prior to its acquisition by the Universal Music Group). 

William has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Columbia University.  He lives in the village of Quogue, New York with his wife, Alexandria, and dog, George. 

William wrote Miracle Man because of its humanistic and spiritual messages and because he feels that in our current times – when meritless celebrity has eclipsed accomplishment and the only heroes are those based on comic books, the world needs a real hero –and that, of course, is Robert James Austin, the protagonist in Miracle Man. Miracle Man won Best Thriller in the National Pacific Book Awards.
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About the Book:

REVERED   REVILED    REMARKABLE

The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero. 

Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real. 

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history.  But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect.  Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal.  But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand. 

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Q:  Can you tell us what your book is about?  

A:   Miracle Man chronicles the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history, from the time of his birth and tragic childhood through his extraordinary accomplishments in curing diseases.  The book is a psychological thriller with a fast paced twisting plot that’s full of surprises and drama, as Austin battles abandonment and
betrayal and the myriad forces that seek to destroy him.

Q:  Why did you write your book?

A:   I wanted to create a modern day believable ‘super hero’ who is an ‘anti-celebrity’.  I thought that such a person could be inspirational when contrasted with the meritless celebrities that dominate media today (e.g., the reality TV stars who are famous for being famous, but have no real talent).  I also wanted Miracle Man to be the vehicle within which I could convey, in an entertainment context, certain spiritual and humanistic messages that are important to me.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

A:  The protagonist, Robert James Austin, possesses an extraordinary intelligence the likes of which has never previously existed.  We’re talking about someone with 10X the intelligence of Einstein.  He is a complex person both psychologically and spiritually and begins in his childhood to suffer intense nightmares and to fall into prolonged trances –conditions that continually get worse as he gets older and makes progress in his quest to cure diseases. 

There are several antagonists, but one of the most interesting is Column McAllister, the CEO of a major pharmaceuticals company.  He is obsessed with stopping Austin from curing diseases because each time Austin does so, one of McAllister’s “cash-cow” symptom -treatment drugs becomes obsolete.  McAllister is a sinister and highly resourceful politically connected “Big Pharma” magnate.

Orin Varneys, is the head of two U.S. government agencies that interact with Austin throughout Miracle Man.  The first of these is the OSSIS (Office of Special Strategic Intelligence Services), which discovers,  nurtures, educates and then seeks to direct and control Austin as it views him as an “intelligence weapon.”  Ultimately, Varneys rises to become head of the CIA and in that capacity he hatches a bizarre plan to exploit Austin.

Christina Moore, is a beautiful and extremely intelligent PHD of mathematics, with a tragic past.  She becomes Austin’s love interest.


Q:  Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

A:  They are totally from my imagination.

Q:  Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

A:  I am aware of the plot before and try to outline it in as much detail as possible prior to writing.  That said, however, the plot line often changes and evolves as the writing progresses.

Q:  What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

A:  I think the most pivotal point is when your book is published and you then begin to get reader feedback.  Until that time –you just don’t know if you’ve created something that will be meaningful to others.  But when reviews start coming in and they are good—that’s incredibly exciting and validating. It’s not easy for a new author to write fiction that can successfully compete with the vast array of books by established authors.  I think that’s when you look in the mirror and say, “Wow, I actually am an author –a real author.”

Q:  What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

A:  Be very demanding on yourself and set high standards.  Your finished work must represent the absolute best that you can do and you have to be proud of it.  The written word is not ephemeral.  It will define you.  So make it as good as you possibly can.  Seek the criticism of others as you write and re-write.  Be patient with yourself.  It’s better for your work to be great than for it to be ‘quick.’






Friday, October 24, 2014

Interview with Jerald Altman, author of Don't Stick Sticks Up Your Nose


 

Title: Don’t Stick Sticks Up Your Nose
Author: Jerald S. Altman, M.D. and Richard Jacobson
Publisher: ZonaBooks, LLC
Pages: 23
Genre: Children’s
Format: Ebook
Stuff in their Ears? Sticks up their nose?
Let’s keep things out of our kid’s ears and nose! Rhyming and beautiful, bright and colorful illustrations will gently remind children to avoid putting things where they don’t go! After 14 years of practice, Dr. Altman never ceases to be amazed at what children will think of to stick up their noses or stuff in their ears. From rocks to raisins, paper to peanuts, crayons to candy and buttons to beads, Dr. Altman has removed them all!
Sometimes adults marvel at the wonderful curiosity of young children…until their inquisitive natures cause them to insert unimaginable objects into inappropriate places. It’s difficult to appreciate a child’s creativity when it might cause a medical emergency.
Don’t Stick Sticks Up Your Nose! Don’t Stuff Stuff In Your Ears! explains to children, in a fun, colorful, and memorable way, why it’s a good idea to avoid such behavior.
The kids will soon be repeating the rhyming verses while being gently reminded not to stick things up their noses and not to stuff things in their ears.

For More Information


Q: Thank you for this interview, Jerry. Can you tell us what your latest book, Don’t Stick Sticks Up Your Nose! Don’t Stuff Stuff In Your Ears!, is all about?

A:  Don’t Stick Sticks Up Your Nose! Don’t Stuff Stuff In Your Ears!, is written for children ages two to six. With colorful illustrations and fun rhymes, this 22-page board book is the perfect way to teach your child not to put dangerous objects where they don’t belong.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

A: Well, we don’t have a plot, but we do have a main focus of the book.  Don’t Stick Sticks Up Your Nose! Don’t Stuff Stuff In Your Ears! maintains just the right level of warning for young audiences. The authors caution kids while keeping the language and tone light: “Keep the weird stuff out, friends, / For everybody’s sake.” We use straightforward and beautifully illustrated facial expressions of kids, parents, and doctors to hint at the pain and worry caused by an object stuck in a nose.


Q: Your book is set in (insert location here).  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

A: Our book is not set anywhere, but the issues that the book addresses are set in everyone’s home and in every preschool and school.

Q: Open the book to the first page.  What is happening?

A: We begin with what should be put in one’s mouth—breakfast—and then add: “No bacon in your ears, / No fried eggs up your nose. / Even though it’s tempting, / That’s not where breakfast goes.” From there we instruct that smells, not sticks, go in noses. From there we go on to say, “Ears have really small holes / that lead into your head. / Sounds should enter in them / and never stuff like bread!”

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A: The best expert is the commonly repeated lines, “Don’t sticks up your nose / don’t stuff stuff in your ears’>

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Jerry.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you so much!  It is our hope that in writing this engaging book, that we can prevent foreign objects from getting into kids’ noses and ears. The best way to avoid a “What’s that in your nose?” crisis is to take the most direct approach: Talk to your child. Especially if you’ve noticed that your child has a tendency to put things up his nose or in his ears, explain to him that this is a major no-no. If it’s age-appropriate, emphasize the danger of putting things where they don’t belong and discuss what the consequences might be. This is where Don’t Stick Sticks Up Your Nose! Don’t Stuff Stuff In Your Ears! comes in handy: It gives parents a way to talk about ear and nose safety in a way that’s fun, memorable, and doesn’t feel like a lecture. (Your kids might even ask for repeat reads.)



Jerald Altman is an Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon (ENT Doctor). After publishing many peer-reviewed journal articles, he recognized the need for a children’s book dealing with a common problem in his practice. He was recognized as a Phoenix Top Doc in 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013.
He is a general Otolaryngologist and he loves taking care of children’s ear, nose and throat issues. Accordingly, the idea for this book came from his pediatric patients and their incessant need to put things where they shouldn’t go!
Richard Jacobson studied architecture at Yale University and has spent most of his adult life designing interiors, landscapes, tablescapes, clothing… and just about anything else that can be fashioned in a creative way. He lives in Phoenix and  enjoys training dogs, birds and topiaries in his spare time.
He once collaborated with his co-author’s (then) seven-year old daughter on a painting for her newly-decorated bedroom. Asked by her mother how she had enjoyed the experience, she replied bluntly, “He’s a little controlling.” Years later, her accurate judgment tempered the rhyming verses he used to gently guide young children’s behavior.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Conversation with Dr. John & Elizabeth McIntosh, authors of 'Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts'



Doctor H. John McIntosh is known as the “Medical Guru” through his columns and media presence.  He was educated as a medical doctor in Scotland. He received a general medical degree from Dundee University Medical School in 1984 and moved to Australia in 1993. He received his Specialist Physician qualification in 1988 from the Royal College of Physicians (UK) and specialist Family Physician qualifications in 1990 from the Royal College of General Practitioners. Other certifications include: Approved Trainer of medical students, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners; James Cook University Medical School, Central Queensland University; Trainer of Cognitive Institute programs, Cognitive Institute of Australia; Approved Trainer of sports medicine first aid courses, Sports Medicine, Australia; and Approved Allergan Cosmetic Injector training and trainer of injectors (doctors and nurses). Dr. McIntosh was the driving force in the building of the Mackay GP Superclinic. In 2013, his medical clinics were awarded the national AGPAL Community Engagement Award for outstanding level of commitment and involvement of the community and won a finalist award in the 2014 Telstra Australian Business Awards.

Rev. Elizabeth McIntosh is known as the “Positivity Expert” from her life’s work and research in the field. She trained as a life and wellness coach; certified personal fitness trainer under Ken Ware, Mr. Universe of 1994; counselor, hypnotherapist, meditation and yoga teacher; and spa trainer. She is a Reiki master Levels 1, 2 and 3, and a Reiki Master Trainer. She holds a BMSc in Metaphysics from the University of Sedona and the University of Metaphysics, and is an ordained minister through the University of Metaphysics. She runs retreats at her resort in Bali and has produced a series of CDs on health, relaxation, and success, and a TV documentary series, as well as being a magazine columnist and radio talkback presenter.

Their latest book is the nonfiction/self-help, Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts.

Visit the authors’ website at www.positivityexpert.com. 

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Mastering Negative Impulse Thoughts(NITs) is  about  self empowerment   by mastering your own negative thoughts.  Most people don’t recognise their negative thoughts and they don’t realize that these negative thoughts are responsible for  their success or failure in life. 

This is the first book that really defines negative thoughts with an easy process to  recognizable them and then control and remove them. We have labeled them Negative Impulsive Thoughts or NITs, and like the head lice that their name invokes they are irritating, hard to recognise and treat and spread from person to person like an epidemic!  NITs knock our confidence, breeds fear,  shatters our dreams, destroys relationships, attracts cancers, heart disease,  and shortens our life span by about 9 years. The research and information presented in this book confirms what many doctors  and health practitioners were already aware of, that  bad attitude leads to bad health. 

If you want to take control over your life, you must start with controlling what goes on in your head first. This book is an easy read with inspirational real life adventures of overcoming (NITs) leaving the reader uplifted inspired and armed with tools to live a positive life NIT-free.

Why did you write your book?

Throughout our years of clinical practice, it became apparent to us that most peoples problems in life, come as a result of their own self inflicted negative attitude.  Our concept of NITs really works to help people, first by recognizing how negative their self talk is, and then giving them interesting ways to break the habit of negative thinking and create positive alternatives instead.    We were telling our patients these key principles over and over on how to improve  their lives,  and we needed a vehicle to reach the broader community and have this concept of NITs available to everyone.  It really works in all areas of life from your personal life, relationships, children, workplace and in the broader community.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

No, this is not something that challenges us, perhaps it is partly because the information we are writing about flows so freely as it is an area we know well. Another reason to consider is that we seem to be able to tap into that creative area easily, I believe it comes from the practice of meditation and mindfulness where you are able to slow your brain cycles down enough to access more of the alpha state while still being able to be conscious to write your message, after all that is how some of the most brilliant minds on the planet achieve their greatness.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

I would want to be in bed with my Honey.   Our bed is the most amazing place I know.  It is where are dreams are borne, problems are solved, our bodies recuperate and our minds recharge.  Our bed seems to possess a magical ability to nurture, and make everything seem better. Our children come to talk or share their quiet thoughts or worries, we can open the door and have wrestling, dogs, fun and noise or we can shut the world away if we want to be alone.  It is where we can in safety expose our vulnerable sides to each other that no-ones else sees. When the day has been long and challenging, we both hurry back to the sanctuary of our bed to regroup our thoughts, reflect on the day, and are always grateful for the wonderful life we share. Out of all the temples and spiritual houses I have visited in the world.  Our bed is the most sacred place I know and I would want more hour of heaven. 

What do you like to do for fun?

Our life is fun - even when we are working hard, we are able to have fun 95% of the time.  Especially when we are together or with our family, they are fun also.  But for extra fun we go sailing across vast oceans with no land in sight, swim with with giant sea creatures, watch the sun set snuggled under a blanket with a good wine and an delicious cheese platter.  Create artistic sculptures out of clay, travel to remote areas of the world to do aid work, living in huts, being  guests of honor of the tribal chief of the village. Travelling to remote places and learning their culture and spiritual secrets, writing, meditating, yoga, exercising, creating successful businesses. We also love teaching  people how to live better and maximize their full potential.

What kind of advice would you give other non-fiction authors?

Follow your passion and try to help as many people as possible! The reward from improving people’s lives is so much more than can be measured…. Be true to yourself and do your homework on your topic if it is not your area of expertise.

We live our life following this philosophy and the benefits are so dramatic that we want to share this experience with others. So for us, our book was easy to write, and the depth of knowledge we have both acquired about our book subject is substantial. Also to present a new concept or provoke thought in an existing field usually makes for an interesting read, but even better to be able to substantiate your point in the form of studies, research, or surveys makes the reader consider it more seriously.