Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Interview with Berkeley Hunt

Photo by Joanne Renaud

Berkeley Hunt is a freelance writer and story analyst specializing in horror.  She has 15 years' worth of experience under her belt working on such films as Looper, The Reaping and Ocean's 11.  She is based in North Hollywood, California, home of the Academy Of Television Arts And Sciences and the infamous Circus Liquor, home of the towering neon clown.   Her story "Camel Jockeys'" appears in Strangers in a Strange Land: Immigrant Stories, published last week by Down and Out Books.

.        What inspired your Strangers in a Strange Land story “Camel Jockeys?”    I stumbled across a documentary while surfing YouTube and was enthralled by the subject.  I described it to my editor, who immediately told me to write it.

      Did you do a lot of research for it?   Oh, yeah.  Everything from camels’ names to one sheik’s announcement that from now on, only robotic jockeys would be used in racing.  Additional research showed that hasn’t been the case, as natives of and tourists are still reporting seeing child jockeys. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thank you Gillette!!

I was brought up by a father who was way ahead of his time. A fifties father, he celebrated and supported me in every way possible. My younger brother turned into a really good guy himself. My best friend is the kind of man every mother would be proud to have birthed and every person would be proud to know.

I know that a lot of people--a LOT of people--have not been as lucky. The Gillette ad that's runing? That's got people talking boycott? What are they afraid of? It really doesn't bash men--there are positive images of men and boys throughout. That ad made me cry. there's a moment where a guy puts his hand on a wman's shoulder and "mansplains" her views to a room full of people. I have so been there. And out in the real world, I've heard "Boys will be boys" used to explain all sorts of behavior.

If you haven't seen the ad, take a look at it now. This is a transformative moment and Gillette has nailed it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Interview with James L'Etoile

1.Author James L'Etoile's crime fiction work has been recognized by the Creative World Awards, Acclaim Film and the Scriptapalooza Television Script Competition. Bury the Past was a 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award finalist for best procedural of the year. Specializing in gritty crime fiction, his complex, edgy stories are fueled by two decades of experience in prisons and jails across the country. Realistic crime fiction requires an eye for detail while immersed deep within the darkest criminal elements. James brings these stories to life with his background in probation, parole, investigation and prison operation. An experienced Associate Warden, Chief of Institution Operations, Hostage Negotiator and Director of Parole, James is unique among crime fiction authors.

Major social themes weave through his work, including the world of human trafficking and future releases include stories set around black market organ transplants, homelessness, domestic terrorism, political corruption and the pharmaceutical industry. James is represented by Elizabeth K. Kracht, of the Kimberley Cameron & Associates Literary Agency. Follow James.

What is the first piece of writing you ever sold and do you remember how much you got paid for it? Technically, the first paid crime writing gig was preparing pre-sentence investigations. As a probation officer, I would pore over the police reports, talk to the investigators, get victim statements, and interview jailed defendants, all to pull together a “crime story” and a recommendation for the judge. I didn’t know it at the time, but it prepared me for becoming an author. There will never be a critic of your written work, more vocal than a public defender with a client looking at 25 years to life. The first piece of commercial fiction sold was a human trafficking themed thriller, Little River, to a small press in 2013. I didn’t receive an advance for that sale and I donated a portion of the royalties to NotForSale.org, a not-for-profit organization devoted to the fight against human trafficking.