Tuesday, July 21, 2015

An Interview with Robert G. Williscroft, PhD

An Interview with Robert G. Williscroft, PhD

Where are you from?
This is a tough question. I was born in Montana, grew up in Germany, and have lived up and down both coasts, in Idaho, Texas and Missouri, and in Alaska and Hawaii, and even in Key West.

 What did you do before you became a writer? 
I am a retired Submarine Officer, deep sea diver, scientist, businessman, author, and adventurer. I have spent 22 months underwater, a year in the equatorial Pacific researching manganese nodules, 3 years in the Arctic creating a biological baseline study, and a year at the geographic South Pole in charge of National Science Foundation atmospheric projects.

Have any of your careers or education inspired your writing?
Since my background is so eclectic, I have to answer, Yes! Virtually everything I have done gives me material for my writing. My submarine and diving experience gave me the detailed background for Operation Ivy Bells, my Amazon Technothriller Bestseller, with 8,800 copies sold in the first nine months. As a PhD engineer, I have an in-depth understanding of how things work. I discovered years ago that I had a knack for explaining complex things. In fact, this was the basis for my syndicated newspaper column, The Thrawn Rickle. These formed the basis for my current events book the Chicken Little Agenda - Debunking "Experts'" Lies.

What would you say is the hardest thing about writing?
Unquestionably, it's marketing - selling what you have written. 

 How do you conduct research for your books?
It depends on the book. For Operation Ivy Bells, I used my personal experience, interviews with former shipmates, and the Internet (great resource!). 

I am a space exploration enthusiast. While reviewing the Cassini photos from Saturn, I was fascinated by the details of Iapetus. It is rocky, but has a very low density; it has a mountainous wall around the equator and several other interesting things. I began to speculate what would happen if it were a derelict starship, and that led to The Starchild Compact and its forthcoming sequel, The Iapetus Federation

Before going to the South Pole, I read a couple of interesting scientific papers about constructing a space launch loop. I contacted one of the authors and we eventually met and spent a day together. The result of that meeting was a life-long friendship, and my latest book, Slingshot, that will be released at the International Space Elevator Conference in Seattle on August 21, 2015.

I used to tell my boy bedtime stories about the adventures Starman Jones, Space Pup, and Billy. I used these stories to instill in him an intuitive understanding of advanced principles of physics, like Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. These stories resulted in the Starman Jones Series of children's stories. These books have been endorsed by Dr. Frank Drake, the Director of SETI and the Carl Sagan Institute for Intelligence in the Universe.

I already mentioned how The Chicken Little Agenda came about.

My books on diving instruction resulted from my having taught over 3,000 people to dive.

Do you have any authors that inspire you?
I am especially inspired by Robert Heinlein and Michael Crichton. Both were excellent story-tellers, and both were word-smiths par excellence.

 How did you get published?
My doctoral dissertation, A System for protecting Scuba Divers from the Hazards of Contaminated Water was published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and distributed to port captains around the world.

My first two dive books were published by a small commercial publisher. My third one was commissioned by a dive magazine.

The Chicken Little Agenda was published by a mid-size publisher in New Orleans.

I decided thereafter to go the Indie Publishing route, because I had to do just as much work for my traditionally published books, but earned less profit. As an Indie publisher, I get to keep all the profit.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Don't be discouraged by rejection notices. If your writing is good, ultimately, someone will pay to publish it. If you choose to go Indie, be sure your book is every bit as good as anything else out there in its genre. If it is not up to per, you will fail, but if it is a really good book, you will be successful.
9. Who is your greatest supporter?
My wonderful wife of three-and-a-half years, Jill. 

Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
"Buy my books!" Seriously, an author survives when people purchase and read that author's writing. Furthermore, in today's world, if you liked the book, review it on Amazon and on Goodreads. Yes, I know that Goodreads is a difficult platform to use, but do it anyway! We need you, we really do.

What is next for you?
I am in the midst of writing The Iapetus Federation, the timeline sequel to The Starchild Compact. It should be out in early 2016. Following that, I expect to write another book in the Starchild Series, tentatively titled Mars Calling. It is about a disastrous first expedition to Mars saved by the Captain of the Cassini II from The Starchild Compact. It will be a prequel to The Starchild Compact. I am also considering a sequel to Operation Ivy Bells. Finally, I am working on the remaining books in the Starman Jones Children's Series.

These projects should carry me for a while, at least.

Dr. Robert G. Williscroft served twenty-three years in the U.S. Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He commenced his service as an enlisted nuclear Submarine Sonar Technician in 1961, was selected for the Navy Enlisted Scientific Education Program in 1966, and graduated from University of Washington in Marine Physics and Meteorology in 1969. He returned to nuclear submarines as the Navy’s first Poseidon Weapons Officer. Subsequently, he served as Navigator and Diving Officer on both catamaran mother vessels for the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle. Then he joined the Submarine Development Group One out of San Diego as the Officer-in-Charge of the Test Operations Group, conducting “deep-ocean surveillance and data acquisition” – which forms the basis for his Cold War novel Operation Ivy Bells.
In NOAA Dr. Williscroft directed diving operations throughout the Pacific and Atlantic. As a certified diving instructor for both the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) and the Multinational Diving Educators Association (MDEA), he taught over 3,000 individuals both basic and advanced SCUBA diving. He authored four diving books, developed the first NAUI drysuit course, developed advanced curricula for mixed gas and other specialized diving modes, and developed and taught a NAUI course on the Math and Physics of Advanced Diving. His doctoral dissertation for California Coast University, A System for Protecting SCUBA Divers from the Hazards of Contaminated Water was published by the U.S. Department of Commerce and distributed to Port Captains World-wide. He also served three shipboard years in the high Arctic conducting scientific baseline studies, and thirteen months at the geographic South Pole in charge of National Science Foundation atmospheric projects.
Dr. Williscroft has written extensively on terrorism and related subjects. He is the author of a popular book on current events published by Pelican Publishing: The Chicken Little Agenda – Debunking Experts’ Lies, now in its second edition as an eBook, and a new children’s book series, Starman Jones, in collaboration with Dr. Frank Drake, world famous director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe and the SETI Institute.
Dr. Williscroft’s novel, Slingshot, is in preproduction. It is a prequel to The Starchild Compact, and tells the story of the construction of the World’s first Space Launch Loop. He is currently working on The Iapetus Federation, a sequel to The Starchild Compact, that tells the story of the World falling under the rule of a planet-wide Islamic Caliphate, where the Founders establish the Iapetus Federation, a loose federation of free off-world communities that operates under an updated model based on the U.S. Constitution, and carries on the traditions of free enterprise and individual accountability throughout the Solar System.
Dr. Williscroft is an active member of the venerable Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles, where he is the Editor of the Club’s monthly magazine. He lives in Centennial, Colorado, with his wife, Jill, whom he met upon his return from the South Pole in 1982 and finally married in 2010, and their twin college boys.

Twitter: @RGWilliscroft
Facebook: robert.williscroft

The Starchild Compact is an epic tale of beginnings, roots, what might have been, and what might be. It is an adventure of heroic proportions, commencing 500 light years away, arriving here just a few years from now, and ending in the distant expanses of the Universe.
Jon Stock takes his international exploration team to Saturn’s moon, Iapetus, that earth scientists have determined may be an artifact. Following launch, they discover Saeed Ismail, a Jihadist stowaway, who hopes to sabotage the mission.
They arrive at Iapetus, determine it is a derelict starship, and eventually meet with the Founders, descendants of the starship builders. Their revelations impact the entire Solar System with momentous implications going backward and forward in time, paving the way for a joint push to the distant reaches of the Galaxy.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Fictionistas - Sexual Content in Literature (Warning: Adult Content)

An Interview with Anna Othitis

An Interview with Anna Othitis

Where are you from?
I am from a lovely country Zimbabwe in Africa. My family and I lived there all of our lives until the political situation took a toll and got worse.
Having no other option but to relocate not knowing our destiny and where our new adventures would take us, nervous and excited at the same time, after our many travels far and wide we settled in USA, where our sons had a future ahead of them.
Our youngest son Frankie, "Captain Frankie" in our children's series "My First Travel Book" series had his dream career and great opportunity to take up his career as a pilot which he loves and enjoys so much, "Flying and soaring the skies like birds in flight" just as we encourage and would like our young readers to live and take up their dream careers.

What did you do before you became a writer?
Before I became a writer I lived in Zimbabwe where I helped out in the family business, an accountant, a teacher and an ABA Therapist. I loved being involved in Charitable, Non profit organizations where I Chaired a few of the Organizations and helped raising funds for the less fortunate African people especially in the rural areas, to assist them in having a better life, education, food, a roof over their heads and more.
I enjoyed and loved teaching young children, more so the Autistic children who I have a great passion for. They are special people who deserve to be loved and taught the wonders of life tat they can enjoy. They are no different to normal human being and ever so special and loving.
Presently I am an ABA Therapist in autism, love my work, love my children, love teaching them and encourage these special children to enjoy a fun filled normal life. Their talents are extremely amazing.
Did you know that famous and talented people such as Einstein, Amadeus
Mozart- a composer and pianist -Susan Boyle, British singer and Britain's Got Talent finalist , Tim Ellis, Australian magician and author,  Luke Jackson, author, Jerry Newport, American author and mathematical savant, basis of the film Mozart and the Whale, John Elder Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye - Donna Williams, Australian author - and the list can go on, (Note the authors) had/have been diagnosed with autism, Asperger syndrome (AS), or another condition on the autism spectrum.

 Have any of your careers or education inspired your writing?
My career with children has inspired me but more so our son Frankie inspired me with his career he took up. Teaching the children and showing them the world we live in is my inspiration. Our wonderful, amazing and inspiring earth with it's beautiful sites and creations of natural beauty that our young generation should and taught to take care of our environment. an important factor of our lives and their future lives and living.
"Do not spoil our beauty of the Earth and World" is my plea to the People of the World.

 What would you say is the hardest thing about writing?
For me the hardest thing about writing a children's book is getting the illustrations done to the specifics of each destination that we visit and show the children an illustration of the actual site and not a cartoon type illustration. In this way one day when they do get the opportunity to visit in their minds they will remember them as is. The rhymes and flow of the information comes naturally.

How do you conduct research for your books?
I search the internet for the closest true information. I have to ensure that this information is what the children will absorb when reading "My First Travel Book" series, so they remember and be able to give out to their teachers, friends and family.

Do you have any authors that inspire you?
I read many authors books. My favorite as a child and in my children's youth were the Ladybird series - "Ladybird Children's Classics"
We had loads of fun and learning with this collection of children's books.

 How did you get published?
I initially published my first book with a publisher which cost me a lot of money. Through the Facebook groups I learnt that I could self publish my books. This I enjoyed and learnt a lot on my own. LionheART Publishing House a dear professional author friend went on to publish them for me, edit my books and have my illustrations done in a professional manner. She produced and produces wonderful work.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
That they should take pride in their work and always stay focused, keep writing. Keep their dreams alive and never be disheartened.
Every author has a story to tell and a dream that comes true.

 Who is your greatest supporter?
My husband and sons together with a dear friend who encourage me and support me through this wonderful venture.
Mostly Frankie "Captain Frankie" our pilot of "Angelic Airlines" who takes the children to so many wonderful destinations, teaching them and inspiring them through my books "My First Travel Book" series.

 Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
To my fans and wonderful special children, not forgetting their parents and families - Thank you for your wonderful support and thank you for flying with us and hope that you have enjoyed your travels from the comfort of your own homes.
Keep reading, stay inspirational and keep learning and education yourselves there is nothing more precious that knowledge in your lives.
"Reading is Knowledge and Education" - "Books are the keys to our future and our past"
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all.”  - Jacqueline Kennedy “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.”  - Walt Disney

 What is next for you?
I have more books in this series that I am still working on and hope to publish in the next few months. Now that I have a lovely grand daughter, Annamaria in our family, a first time grand mother my aim, mission and focus is to teach and educate her the best I can and to let her know that these children's books will be a part of her life and many other children's lives, especially our beautiful autistic children out there that always want to learn more.

Children have curious little minds with amazing memories, they are our little sponges who absorb and remember so much.

Purchase Links:
Connect with Anna Online!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

***COVER REVEAL*** An Exclusive Excerpt from Goddess of War by, K.N. Lee

An Exclusive Excerpt 

Goddess of War 

by, K.N. Lee

There was no reply. His heart raced as he searched the cabin, turning furniture over and calling her name. The four year old was nowhere to be found. Hunt laid his mother back on the table and covered her body with a cloak that hung from a hook beside the back door.
Kellian watched him rub his eyes and open the back door. Once he stood outside, he paused.
“What is it?”
Hunt held up a hand. “I hear something,” he whispered.
Kellian stepped forward and strained to hear whatever it was that Hunt spoke of. He heard the howling of the wind, the rustling of snow covered trees, and a soft cry.
His eyes widened. He dared to hope. “Luna?”
“Papa,” a muffled voice cried.
Hunt turned to his father with wild eyes. “She’s in the chest.”
Kellian nodded. “Get the key!”
He rushed out the door to the stable and saw that it had been ransacked. The horses were gone, and all that remained intact was the secret hatch that they kept their valuables in. He wiped the top of the hatch clean of dirt and stones, revealing door. Kellian pulled the door open and looked down into a hole in the ground that was four feet deep and three feet wide. Inside the hole was a sturdy wooden chest. The chest was beautiful, adorned with intricate golden symbols engraved by the holy clerics of the west. It had been a gift to the king from the eastern clerics, and the king had then given it to Kellian when he won the War of Thorns for him several years ago.
“Use it to take care of your family,” the king had said to him in private. King Lorrian was the closest thing to a brother Kellian had ever had. They’d practically trained and fought together since their teen years, and Kellian had moved up in the ranks to be general of the five armies of the west.
Kellian had asked how, and the sly grin that had taken over King Lorrian’s face would forever remain with him.
King Lorrian had patted the chest with a hand and their eyes met. “Because it is a magic chest, my friend. It turns simple objects into gold, enchants weapons, and will store food for an eternity. Your family will never need money or food, and will always be protected by the weapons you enchant with it.”
Shaking, he pulled the chest from the ground and set it inside the stable.
He stared at the chest with fear. He never asked what the chest would do to a person. He never thought he had to, for the chest was too small for a person…unless they were a child.
“I’m here, Luna. Papa and Hunt are here. We’ll get you out.”
Hunt ran back with the long golden key in his hand. He fell to his knees behind the chest and handed it to Kellian.
Inserting the key into the chest, Kellian tried to steady his hand as he turned the lock. A sharp clicking sound resonated in their ears, and with a deep breath, he opened the lid.

What they saw inside made both of their faces pale. Hunt looked to his father with eyes of terror, then back to his younger sister inside.

Coming soon to Amazon.com and www.knlee.com

An ordinary child.

A magic chest from the east.

When Luna's mother puts her in the chest to protect her from discovery during a village raid, her father returns when it’s too late. Everyone in the village is dead...except for Luna. Kellian knows what that box does to objects, but questions what it can do to a human.

What did it do to his daughter?

Her fate is uncertain as her father returns to the royal army that he commands with her in tow. He cannot help but wonder if she will have a normal life when forced to grow up surrounded by violence and war. He also cannot believe what she can do when she picks up a weapon for the first time.

War will never be the same when Luna is on the field. Blood and power fuel her, and empires, kingdoms, and dynasties clamor to assassinate her. No one can stop her. Nothing can tame her…except possibly a magic she never expected to find.

The magic of love.