Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's ALIVE...

Well, okay, maybe not. But it is FREE!

Check out Stories On the Go - 101 very short stories from 101 authors.

Stories on the Go: 101 very short stories…

Until next time, 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Author Spotlight - An Interview with S.S. Lange

JET:  Can you tell us about your most recent book?

S.S. Lange: My most recent book is Almost Found, which is the third book in the Charlotte Hayes series. It picks up right after Charlotte, the main character, has a major bomb dropped on her by another character and follows her through the resulting fallout and ongoing threats from a crime family that has been after her for quite a while.

JET:  What drew you to suspense?

S.S. Lange: I’ve always loved a good mystery and cliff-hangers, anything that makes me keep turning the pages. Getting to the end of a chapter with the feeling of “I can’t stop here… just one more” is one of my favorite things. When I finally convinced myself to sit down and really write something, I wanted to write what I enjoy reading, and hopefully create that experience for others.

JET:  What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication? 

S.S. Lange: My biggest hurdle was my own insecurity. Sending off my manuscript to be read by someone else for the first time was absolutely terrifying (and even as I start in on my fourth novel, it’s still pretty terrifying).

JET:  What was your favorite moment in the journey?

S.S. Lange: When the first person to finish the book once it was published told me they stayed up until 4a.m.
because they couldn’t put Long Lost down. Absolutely amazing feeling.

JET:  Which authors had the most influence over you growing up? 

S.S. Lange: Tough question! I read almost anything I could get my hands on. Some of the authors I still go back to include Lois Lowry, Mitch Albom, S.E. Hinton, and of course I can’t wait to revisit Laura Ingalls Wilder with my daughters.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

S.S. Lange: I’m sure this is cliché, but I’ve always known. Before bucket lists were even a mainstream thing, one of my life goals – in the back of a journal from third grade – was to be published. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember – poems, short stories, terrible attempts at song lyrics at first. I think the longest story I wrote prior to Long Lost was maybe thirty pages? Something clicked one day though and LongLost started to come together and before I knew it I had an actual completed novel.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

S.S. Lange: My Google history could probably get me arrested, but nothing to crazy (yet).

JET:  Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite?  Why?

S.S. Lange: They’re a bit like my children so it’s hard to pick favorites, but so far Blood is Thicker is definitely my favorite. I had so much fun writing it and it completely took on a life of it’s own, which if you’ve never had happen, is a very cool experience. I think each one becomes a new favorite though as I face different challenges and learn more about myself and my process.

JET:  Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?

S.S. Lange: Just do it. And keep doing it. Stay up far too late when you’re in the zone and just keep writing. And don’t let your nerves keep you from putting yourself (and your work) out there.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten... starting with: Steak or Tofu?

S.S. Lange:  Steak

JET: Beach or Mountains?

S.S. Lange:  Mountains

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

S.S. Lange:  Country

JET: Coffee or Tea?

S.S. Lange:  Coffee

JET: Salty or Sweet?

S.S. Lange:  Sweet

JET: Cat or Dog?

S.S. Lange:  Dog

JET: Audio books or E-books?

S.S. Lange:  E-books

JET: Kick-ass name-taker or Scream for help?

S.S. Lange:  Kick-ass name-taker

JET: Sword wielding ninja or Gun toting momma?

S.S. Lange:  Gun toting momma

JET: Star Trek or Star Wars?

S.S. Lange:  Star Wars

JET:  Thank you for indulging me.  Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now?  What's next?

S.S. Lange: Now that Almost Found is out, I’m plugging away on the next in The Charlotte Hayes Series. It’s still early so I don’t have much to say about it yet, but I’ve got big plans for this one. I’m also working on something completely new that’s more in the young adult genre with some supernatural and dystopian elements.

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog.  Folks, you can find out more about S.S. Lange and his/her work at the following places:

Until next time,

Friday, December 5, 2014

Suffering in Silence


On an early September day in 1979, Jamie Wilson hobbles down the sidewalk on crutches, her broken leg aching. As the school buses rumble past, some jerk yells “Faker!” out the window. 

Jamie flips the bird in response. 

Big mistake. 

She pissed off the wrong egomaniac, and this bully rules the school. 

High school becomes a daily nightmare when her tormentors wage psychological warfare, starting with a physical attack in the hallway meant to terrorize. With only a three-day suspension as punishment and the threat of expulsion for any further physical attacks, the bitch squad change tactics, relentlessly lobbing verbal hand grenades at every opportunity. 

Words are powerful weapons, especially when the school offers no protection against verbal assault. Suffering in silence is Jamie’s only choice if she doesn't want to end up in ICU. 
But silence can become an equally dangerous agent of self-destruction. 

This book is perhaps the hardest story I've ever put down on paper, and let's face it, I've written some pretty disturbing stories.  But everything before this book was pure fiction. Making up crap is easy compared to dredging up old and unwelcome memories, even if it occasionally prompts some nasty nightmares.  

The only other true story ripped from the pages of my life can be found in the short story collection Glimpses. Pollywogs and Water Moccasins was based on the day we moved into our home in Connecticut when I was seven.  

Silence is, at it's core, a true story, wrapped in the pretty packaging of fiction. It tackles a social issue that is still prevalent today. Perhaps, the means are different these days; instead of verbal assault, it's now cyber attacks. Either way, bullying is bullying and it takes a strong core to constructively handle a bully. 

Is standing up to a bully the right course of action? Sometimes it is, especially if you are equipped with self defense training or a sharp, quick wit.  But when that approach could land you in the hospital...or worse, silence may be the only option. 

However, remaining silent for extended periods of time can be self-destructive. That build up of hostility, anger, frustration, and all the other emotions that go along with being a victim, must be released in some manner. I would advocate finding a healthy release, even though that is not the path I took. 

Surviving high school can be challenging in the best of circumstances, but when you pile on bullies and other social issues, it can seem next to impossible. Silence is a walk alongside the darkest days of my life and for those that are on that same path today, you may just find a sliver of hope within these pages.

Silence will be released on December 17, 2014, however, it is currently available for preorder at the following places:  AmazoniTunesBarnes & NobleKobo and Smashwords

Until next time,