Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

Thursday, March 3, 2016

GUEST POST: Raking the Dust by John Biscello

The Zharmae Publishing Press Presents:

Raking the Dust by John Biscello

Author: John Biscello
Genre: Erotica, Sci-Fi
Length: 341
Release Date:March 10, 2016
ISBN:978-1-943549-54-2 ($14.95)
Publisher: Zharmae Press
Cover Artwork:Cris Qualiana Basham
Synopsis: In this rogue’s tale, full of sound, fury and erotic surrealism, we meet Alex Fillameno, a writer who has traded in the machine-grind of New York for a bare bones existence in the high desert town of Taos, New Mexico. Recently divorced and jobless, Fillameno has become a regular at The End of the Road, the bar where he first encounters the alluring and enigmatic D.J, a singer and musician. Drawn to her mutable sense of reality, the two begin a romance that starts off relatively normal. When D.J. initiates Alex into the realm of sexual transfiguration their lives are turned inside-out, and what follows is an anti-hero’s journey into a nesting doll world of masks and fragments, multiples and parallels, time-locks and trauma; a world in which reality is celluloid and what you see is never what you get.

Interview with John Biscello on Raking the Dust
What drove and inspired you to write this particular book?
I moved to Taos, New Mexico from New York in 2001. It was quite a dramatic change in culture, tempo, and way of life.  I never would have imagined fourteen years later I'd still call this "black sheep" of a high-desert town home. The energy and character of this place is rich and challenging; its vibe eclectic.  It was only a matter of time before I tried to capture and reflect its spirit (or how it has impacted and influenced my spirit in myriad ways) in a book or collection of stories. 
Most of my novel is set in Taos–with strains of autobiographical fiction.  Yet it veers into the realms of the mythical and surreal.  And one of the driving catalysts behind that is the character, D.J.–who becomes the love interest of Alex (the protagonist). D.J. was supposed to be the main character in a play I was writing, but she disappeared when no one was looking and reappeared in this novel.  Here, she has found a home of sorts. 
Which were the hardest areas to write?
Perhaps the last section, where the novel changes locations from Taos to San Francisco.  In a sense, it almost become a different book. A new setting, a new set of characters (with D.J. and Alex still at the heart of it all); and having to trust in the strange or surreal directions inspired by Les Etoiles de Diables ("Stars of the Devil").  Which is the name of a mysterious club on San Francisco's Embarcadero waterfront. 
This summer, when rewriting the novel, I rewrote the S.F. section in trying to streamline and concentrate the storyline.  Furthermore, manage the intense build-up or break-down between D.J. and Alex. 
What makes your book standout?
Well, an urban-bred Brooklyn boy's perspective of high-desert living is one slant. Also–about a quarter of the way into the novel–what seems like a "straight" love/obsession story between an alcoholic writer and mercurial musician takes a sharp, unexpected turn.  Into a playscape that could be called ... anatomically reconfigurative (Cue old-time-radio suspense music). 
What advice do you have for the struggling writer?
If this is your deep-down passion, if you truly love words and stories and your relationship with them, then putting them down and getting them out means you are actively living your dream. There will always be a million and one alibis ready to sidetrack and derail us. Ignore them. Live the yes. Stay the course.
Author Information & Links
John Biscello is the author of the novel Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, which was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Adobe Walls, Yuan Yang, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. A poet, performer, author, playwright, and drama teacher for young people, he is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in Taos, NM.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Beginning to End with Ms. Josephine

"Can you trust God for all things in every area of your life?  Have you ever been faced with life-threatening situations in your marriage, that made you want to give up on God, but he allowed you to be stable, keeping you still in order to see the salvation of the Lord in your flesh, mind and resources, etc.  Psalms 46:10a, 'Be still and know that I am God.'

Have you ever seen God transform the Natural into the Super-Natural?  From the beginning to the end.  When your mother tells you are not able to have children because of your unproductive organs, no menstrual period, no nothing.  Then you meet your husband that tells you all things are possible if ye only believe.  Later on God blesses you and your husband with two lovely daughters, when doctors said live with the fact you will never have children."

This is a special, special post on a book by a woman I know personally.  Her name is Josephine Brooks-Clark, but we just call her Ms. Josephine!  Anyway, over a year ago she told me that she was working on writing and publishing a book inspired by her life with her passed husband.  She used to tell me that she had the necessary files and was ready to go to work!  Needless to say, I was ecstatic and encouraged by her; always inspired by people who make energizing commitments to share a part of themselves for the betterment of others.  And that’s precisely what Ms. Josephine did in her debut memoir, From the Beginning to the End, published by ABM Publications.

With a couple of hash browns and a cup of coffee, I sat down one morning to read Ms. Josephine’s book.  I didn't find myself out of bed until all 84 pages were read.  So I sat, fully grasped by her story outside of our old conversations.  From the Beginning to the End is a very personal memoir, so personal that I had to reach out to Ms. Josephine to bring her to Comic Towel to talk about her book first-hand.  Follow my questions and her response (in bold lettering) below...

1.  From The Beginning to the End opens with a testimony from yourself regarding your personal story.  So how did you decide where to start your story specifically?  As well as where to end it?

From the Beginning to the End starts with my testimony. How I got started? One day I was dealing with so many things going on in my life.  So while lying in bed, it came to me to start my life story of all I was going through. I was only 34 [at the time] and life began to make a turn from the good to the worst.  

I decided to end it [the book] after the death of my husband.  All that I was going through with sickness after sickness had [finally] ended. Thank God.

2.  I could only imagine how you dealt with some of the actual events and details you shared within your story–as they were happening in your life.  If you had to choose, what was probably the hardest detail to share with readers regarding your life?  And why was it hard to share?

The hardest part to share with my readers is when we were robbed.  THIS IS A STICK-UP [Chapter 4].  It was hard because every time I begin to speak of that situation, it bring tears to my eyes to see my hubby tied up in a knot and my two girls with a gun at their head.

3.  Could you offer any advice to someone who desires to share their personal story, such as yourself?  Does emotional distance take part in the writing process?

First I would say let fear of the unknown go, meaning fear of sharing your life because of friends that may read your story and criticize you.  I felt that if I shared my story, someone will be blessed to know that they can make it through the hard times. It is love that kept us together [her husband and herself] and my vows that I made to God and Man. In Sickness or Health, Richer or Poor, and for Better or for Worse.  

No, emotional distance has nothing to do with writing. When I left Alabama, it gave me the peace and quietness I needed to concentrate on writing.  This book was completed years ago, but fear of the unknown kept me from getting published.  

4.  If there is one thing you would wish to communicate and inspire into those who've read your book, what would that be?

I would like to impart that the beginning of a new thing shall come your way. Every door that has been closed unto you shall be opened, and every crooked path shall be made straight.  September and October are the months of increase, so don't put off today for tomorrow.

5.  Now that your book has been released, where do you plan to go from here?  Are there more books at work?

Since my first book has been released, my plans are to take a portion of my funds to feed the less fortunate. And yes, there are other books being published.

1. Seven Steps to Empower your Faith
2. The Seed of a Woman (both natural and spiritual)
3. Why Hurting People Hurt Others.
4. Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman

Thank you so, so much Ms. Josephine for sharing your story and giving me the opportunity to help share it with others.  

You can grab your copy of Ms. Josphine's book, From the Beginning to the End. 

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