interview

Michael Hastings Death; Sara York Interview; Winston Gieseke

The multi-talented award winning journalist Michael Hastings’ death has left many in shock this week. He was only 33 years old, but he’d accomplished more in his short lifetime than most people do in a span of decades. This article has a few good photos of him.

Hastings’ groundbreaking reporting on Gen. Stanley McChrystal‘s candid criticism of the Obama administration is credited with ending McChrystal’s military career and earned him a 2010 George Polk Award. He was 33.

The Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed reporter is being remembered by many of his colleagues as an unfailingly bright and hard-charging reporter who wrote stories that mattered.

This next link will lead you to a piece that has a video of the car crash. It’s very disturbing to watch and I would suggest that if you are not comfortable with things like this you pass on it.

 A photographer from freelance photography/videography outfit Loudlabs alleges to have been on the scene immediately after journalist Michael Hastings died in a fiery car crash early yesterday morning.

Because of the nature of Hastings’ work as a journalist, this next article gets into speculative theories about whether or not his death was part of a conspiracy.

Journalist Michael Hastings death early Tuesday morning, June 18, in Los Angeles after the Mercedes C250 coupe he was driving slammed into a palm tree at high speed has sparked conspiracy theories that Hastings, like Clooney’s Clayton, was targeted for his investigative reporting. The crash was so intense that the car’s engine and transmission were found 100 feet from the main wreckage.

And this peice gets into even more detail about the conspiracy theory.

Meanwhile, LA Weekly reports that Hastings was reporting extensively on the CIA at the time of his death, and the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald pointed out that Hastings’ last article for BuzzFeed was on the NSA and the Democrats’ love of spying on Americans.
 
It doesn’t take much thought to guess that Hastings would have been working on the topic of spying on Americans, especially with all that’s been happening with Edward Snowden. However, so far all speculations of conspiracy and foul play have been knocked down, and they say his death was, indeed, an accident.
 
In the past twenty years, Tony and I have had four Mercedes and one of the main reasons why we have them is for the safety factor. And when I read that Hastings was driving a Mercedes and that it blew up the way it did, I had to stop and wonder myself. Of course any car can do anything in an accident and no one is ever 100% safe in an accident no matter what they drive. But it still makes me wonder, because we’re living in interesting times right now.
 
Sara York Interview
 
Last night an author I know from social media, Sara York, did an online interview with WT Prater, whom I don’t know, that I thought was worth linking to today. She’s one of those people I see on social media often, and I always like what she has to say and what she does in public. She has a lot of books out, but she’s never in-your-face obnoxious about hocking them. I also never get that scent of pure bullshit and fakery when she’s on social media that I do detect too often on social media.
 
But the thing I liked most about this particular interview is that the questions were interesting, and Sara York answered them well. One in particular about self-publishing caught my attention, because I would have answered the question exactly the way she did in the interview. What I find interesting nowadays is that literary agencies like The Nelson Agency and Dystel & Goderich, to name just two of many, have been helping their authors self-publish for the past two or more years. Self-published authors who have already been published with large publishers even have a name now: hybrid authors. This is because they both self-publish and trad publish. And yet I still see small authors with small start up e-presses in genre fiction turning their noses up at self-publishing as if they are too grand for it…even though we’ve reached a point in publishing where some of the most popular bestselling authors are now proud to admit they’ve self-published.
 
In any event, Sara York did a great job in the interview, and it was interesting to put the voice and the thoughts with the person I see on social media so often. I highly recommend listening to it. Here’s a link, and I had no issues listening to it on my iPad.
 
Winston Gieseke
 
A few years ago I received an e-mail from an editor in Germany asking if he could reprint a short story I’d written for an older Starbooks Press book I was in titled, “Noah’s Arch,” in Dreamboys and Macho magazine with publisher Bruno Gmunder. Of course I was so thrilled I jumped at the chance. This really is my favorite kind of writing, and I’m huge fan of all this publisher’s work, magazines and books.  
 
And this year I was contacted again by Bruno Gmunder with a different editor, Winston Gieseke, who wanted to know if I was interested in submitting anything to a few anthologies he was working on. Once again, I made the time to do it. I’ve submitted to the upcoming release, Daddy Knows Best, and for another titled, Straight No More. I’ll post more about them when they are released, but I wanted to talk about Winston Gieseke today.
 
I’ve worked with a lot of editors in the past, but this time I’ve enjoyed my e-mails with Winston. We both have a lot in common, and I found his basic information fascinating. He has a blog you can check out here. It’s titled Expats in Berlin. Although I’ve never been there, my partner, Tony, has been many times on business trips and he’s always raved about Berlin. This is from the about page:
 
Expats in Berlin details the experiences of John and Winston, who relocated to Europe’s hippest city from Los Angeles with their two adorable and moderately well-behaved dogs.

The site was named Best Blog by the Web Critics Association of North America and has enjoyed fairly positive write-ups in People magazine, USA Today, and Monster Truck Monthly. It has also been discussed in various forms of media by celebrities and journalists, everyone from Anderson Cooper and Howard Stern to Gayle King and those women on The View.

OK, there’s not one iota of truth in that second paragraph, but something had to fill this space. Everything else you’ll read here is true, we promise.
Learn more about us here.

 
In addition to that blog, Winston also has another web site, here, and here, where you can learn how to follow him on social media.
 
And, he’s absolutely adorable!!
 
 
 
 

Interview with Author S.L. Danielson

I met S.L. Danielson a while back and we’ve remained friendly since then. I like her style a lot, and I think she’s an up and coming author to watch for. She has this adorable personality where she’s not exactly shy, but not by any means pushy. She’s just plain friendly, and very easy to talk to.

So we talked about doing an interview last weekend, and I came up with a few questions I thought readers might like. I often tend to get into more personal details about the author as a human instead of the author as a book machine. I know I’m always more curious about the authors who write the books I read, and I think most people are.

It’s been a while since we’ve touched base. What have you been up to?

Hi Ryan! Great to hear from you again, as always. Lately I’ve been working on a co-work with author and good friend Nephylim, adding to the Upstaged series. I’ve also been working at my day job, and finishing school. I’ve also been finishing up the Southern Comfort series (with Julie Lynn Hayes) and outlining a few new solo ideas of my own.

I know you’re a student. Could you please describe your background as a writer?

Sure thing. I’ve been writing seemingly forever, since my pencil first hit the page. I read constantly as a child and dreamed up my own works as early as 11 years old. After that they grew and grew into longer stories, and entire novels. I had at least 20 steno books full of them and an entire 2-drawer filing cabinet.

What do you have out that’s already been published?

Right now is the Southern Comfort series (four of them), the Upstaged series (two so far, but we’re on #10 at the moment in writing) of course For the Heart of Phillip, its sequel Refugees, Love by the Numbers its sequel Life After Math, Bernard; Diary of a 46-yr-old Bellhop, Ranch Hands and its sequel Ranch Hands 2: Jerry’s Season, and My Fair Vampire. (which will be finding a new publisher soon). Two works will be returning with a rework: The Alpha Lambda House and Lust in London too; but no date has been set yet.

I like knowing personal things about authors. Not anything that would be an invasion of privacy; just little things. Would you like to share anything?

Hmmm, how coy, Ryan! (smirks) Well, I suppose I could share that besides being an accounting person during the day, a business owner (Romance First Publishing) at night and weekends; but I’m also a figure-skater and also love to watch home improvement shows. We bought a house a year ago and it needs serious work; but we’re getting there. I’m also a very huge lover of cats. Our two children, feline of course, rule my heart.

How long have you been pursuing a career in publishing?

Since about 2006. That’s when my first work really took shape and I dared myself to sub it.

How do you feel about all the changes in publishing?

I think that ebooks are a huge advantage; but have their drawbacks as well. Even though I ‘m a kindle owner, I miss the smell of the paper and the feel of the book. As for the industry insides; gay fiction, especially erotica, has come under serious fire. My stories aren’t usually heavy on this; but those that are have been under scrutiny. I’m not a fan of the scrutiny, obviously. People read what they read. It’s a free country. Still, I stick to certain guidelines. Part of the reason I began my own company was due to the politics of the publishing world.

I’m a huge fan of self-published books, by new authors and previously published authors. Do you have any thoughts about this?

Being a self-pubbed author myself; I have no qualms about it at all. There was once a massive stigma surrounding it; but no longer. So many houses pass on a great story just because they are unknown or don’t have a ton of tales under their belt. We take risks and it is a risk; but it gets the name out there, and if even 1 book if sold; you’ve accomplished that goal.

If you could get the dream book contract, what would you love to write most?

Wow, the dream book contract? Hmmm. I always always said I’d love to see For the Heart of Phillip come to life in a screenplay. I feel the same way with Upstaged, too. So either one of those becoming a massive bestseller and a movie would be my absolute dream.

All writers work at a different pace. How do you do it?

I write when the mood and inspiration strike. I have no set schedule, at least time-wise. I do work off an outline or basic ideas of flow for the story; but that is it as far as structure. I like things to be a little freer-form. Currently I run home from work, write as much as I can, then tend to my evening. On the weekends it is the lions share of the day.

How much do you work on promotion, and what’s your comfort zone?

As for promo, I do some; not a lot. I need to do more, but time isn’t there to do what I need to do. My comfort zone stops at showing my face, which is more for protection. My family knows, on a limited scale, but that’s not telling the whole world. Some care, some don’t; but after having confrontations with a couple family members; anonymity is the best way to go right now. I have a Facebook page, and two sub pages, one for RFP and one for Steph, blogs for each, and a website for the company, plus a group page on Goodreads and I just joined GA.org. I’m building the presence, slowly.

First, I’d like to thank her for taking the time to answer these questions. I’ve known her for a while, and I didn’t know about the figure skating.

Second, below are some web sites where you can check out her work.

Third, here’s a link to another post I wrote about her in 2011.

www.rfppublishing.com

www.romancefirstpublishing.blogspot.com

www.ladyauthorsld.blogspot.com