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Special Edition featuring 3 Tara Cardinal

Cover Author and Hollywood Feature in the May/June 2014 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

14 Dianne Duvall

Hollywood Feature in the May/June 2014 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

16 Shayne Leighton

Hollywood Feature in the May/June 2014 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

19 Keith Rommel

Hollywood Feature in the July/August 2014 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

22 Tom Nowicki

Hollywood Feature in the July/August 2014 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

25 Alex Bledsoe

Hollywood Feature in the September/October 2014 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

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27 Bill & Susan Hayes

Hollywood Feature in the November/December 2014 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

29 Karl Alexander

Hollywood Feature in the January/February 2015 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

plus 8 Sneak Peek

Take a peek at Sword Sisters from the May/ June 2014 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

11 Movie Review

The Legend of the Reaper movie review from the May/June 2014 Issue of BTS BOOK REVIEWS

Author and Actor Tara Cardinal is taking on new roles as a producer, director, actress and writer, and finding out new ways on making the world a better, happier place. Join BTS as we chat with this inspiring and multi-talented woman.

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Meet Tara Originally from a tourist town in Canada, Cardinal was shuffled around until she ended up in foster care. At age 12, she co-founded a peer counseling organization dedicated to assisting children suffering from sexual abuse. By 16, she struck on her own, traveling to the United States to live the American dream and working 3 jobs to make ends meet. At 19, misdiagnosed with cancer and only holding a seventh-grade education, she turned her life around, went back to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology on full scholarship. A natural leader, she was unanimously elected president of the theater club and held that position until she graduated. It was then she knew the movie business was the only place for her. Still in school and working a full time corporate job, she booked the female lead in the Warner Brother’s movie “Delivery.” Soon, other offers arrived. While juggling a budding film career, university and a full-time job, she honed her improv skills at the Florida Renaissance Festival, where she performed her first year as a man because the festival director wouldn’t let her sword fight as a woman! Inspired by industry greats like Stan Lee, George Lucas, Jackie Chan and Sylvester Stallone, Cardinal combined her skills to create a film of her own. “Legend of the Red Reaper,” based on Cardinal’s childhood struggle, became a strong project with a message about female empowerment. Seasoned pros and aspiring actors alike flocked to her side, and the project took on a life of its own, blossoming into a feature film, a novel and comic book spin offs. Cardinal became one of the first women to write, produce and direct and star in fantasy action franchise. She also did all her swordplay. She continues to accept empowering roles in

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movies of all genres. In her spare time, she gathers her celebrity friends for charity events benefiting children, animals and disaster victims. She is an actress, director, martial artist, sword master and a humanitarian. Ms. Cardinal currently resides in a hobbit house in Hollywood, California, where she continues to create inspiring stories, advance her training in martial arts, take on new roles as producer, director, actress and writer, and find out new ways to make the world a better, happier place.

An Interview with Tara Cardinal by Danita Minnis

Interview from the May/June 2014 issue Tara, at a very young age, you persevered over major adversity in your life and now have a nonprofit counseling program for children. Please share the wellspring of inspiration which gives you the courage and drive to pay it forward by helping others. What fills your well? When times were tough as a kid, I always knew I had a reason, a purpose. I didn’t know what that was until recently. Now I know I’m here to use my experiences to make the world a better place, and I don’t mind going through some rough patches if I can be an example, and maybe even an inspiration, for people in similar circumstances. That’s all I need to fill my well. That was the main reason I decided to go into film making. I knew I could reach so many more people through media than I could one on one. My goal isn’t to preach, or tell anyone anything, just show people that self-respect is ok, no matter what you’ve endured. Most of the Red Reaper story is drawn from my own life and my own feelings during rough patches. I’m still working on the courage to come forward and be more specific than that, but those who’ve experienced what I have will see themselves in the writing and the film. And those are the people I made Red Reaper for.

As an actress who is also a writer, what are the challenges you face in your writing process? I feel a little silly calling myself a writer because I don’t feel like I’ve really written anything. I either daydream about the characters or write about things that really happened. I guess I’m more of a documenter of the imagination than a writer. As I mentioned before, I base a lot of stories on real events. I put a magical spin on them and tell them from the perspective a child. Bad people become “demons,” lost loves become “princes,” my inner battles become wars with swords and martial arts. As an actress it’s much easier to perform something I’ve documented (cough—written!) because I’ve already seen it, or in some cases, lived it. Scenes that are based on my real life experiences are much easier to perform because all I have to do is remember what I felt when they happened. The acting takes care of itself. Not only did you star in the 2013 fantasy film The Legend of Red Reaper, but you were also the writer, producer, and director. How did you juggle those creative hats, and did you ever get in your own way? I had two choices—assume the hats or admit defeat. The team previously assembled wasn’t up for the challenge, and many of them dropped off, never to be heard from again. As they fell by the wayside during production, I attempted to replace them with other competent parties. But the franchise is so complex, it was easier for me to just take care of it myself rather than bring a muggle up to speed. When the movie spawned a book, then a comic book, and possibly a roleplaying game, it was like a big puzzle to me: the characters, their arcs, the timeline of the universe—all of that. In the beginning, I had a huge team. Just a few months in, I was the only “producer.” So I promoted all of my department heads to producer level, and they handled the extra responsibilities beautifully— but none of them had any producer experience. Many of them had never worked on a film before; their experience was in theater, theme parks, or BTS Special Edition | 5

| BTS Special Edition | Renaissance festivals! The blessing in disguise was that the director (me) never went against the writer (me), and the producer never made us do anything contrary to the story because that was me too! When compromises had to be made (which happened daily), I could make them swiftly with minimal losses because I knew the story, the actors, the franchise, and the budget six ways to Sunday! I never had to waste time in meetings; I just made the best decisions, and we all moved forward as a unit.

want to be the example of someone who came from nothing, grew up in foster care, didn’t finish high school (but went on to university anyway), pitched my story to the studios, was turned down by them all, and then made the movie anyway. I didn’t wait for anyone’s permission to live my dream. I got my own combat training, and I did (most of) my own stunts. I choreographed some fights. I self-financed (most of) the movie with money I earned working as a secretary, a medical study, and losing fights as a professional wrestler.

Other unexpected perks • No one could go over my head if they didn’t like my decision • I could house the writer, director, producer, and star in the same room for no additional cost! • No one could accuse me of sleeping my way into the role • There were never any creative differences between the decision makers I say all this tongue in cheek, of course, but there’s always this gossip that any really great female acting role was won on the casting couch. Trolls will be trolls. You have played various characters on screen and stage, in this world and others, and are comfortable existing in different periods of history. In what era would you prefer to live, if given the choice? I’d like to live in the Red Reaper Universe, but only if I could be a Reaper! I don’t think I’d want to be the Red Reaper anymore, but one of the other Reapers. Maybe Freya—a total bad ass with a perfect body, natural blonde hair, and a gorgeous, sweet, and loving boyfriend. My character got none of those things. I can’t elaborate on that without giving the story away. During the creative process, actors and writers often think in terms of a legacy. What do you want to be remembered for? I’d like to be remembered as one of the first women to write, produce, and direct a superhero franchise. I’d like to be the example of both smart and athletic. We tell girls they can be anything. I 6 |

What’s next for Tara Cardinal? I’m attached to either star or produce several movies this year, all of which excite me for different reasons! I’m producing Agoraphobia written and directed by Ms. Lou Simon, who just took Best Horror Film at Berline Film festival—a huge honor! Lou is a

| BTS GOES HOLLYWOOD | very talented writer and director and has very strong creative vision. I think Agoraphobia is going to be a great movie! I’ve just been cast in The Martial Arts Kid with Don the Dragon and Cynthia Rothrock. I’ve worked with Don before, and I’m very much inspired by Cynthia, whom I’ve been wanting to work with for years now. I’m in talks to star in Sorority of the Damned, a film that reminds me very much of Evil Dead but with sorority sisters. I’m working on novel two of the Red Reaper series, currently titled Of Girl and God, and the script for the Red Reaper movie sequel. I’m still training in martial arts and finally getting out to socialize now that I’ve finished both Red Reaper and Scarlet Samurai (my other franchise project).

Don’t miss the BTS review of The Legend of the Red Reaper in this month’s BTS Goes Hollywood!

Several projects I worked on last year are releasing soon. Wrath of the Crows, an Italian (but English language) psychological thriller releases June 17! It just won Best Film at Horrorhound Weekend, which is a good festival to win. Spreading Darkness, another thriller with a huge cast (Eric Roberts, Dominique Swain, John Savage), should be completed this year. I’m just about finished with my second franchise, Scarlet Samurai, (which has nothing to do with Red Reaper—but features many of the same cast!). Scarlet is a modern-day fairy tale about a mystical being that keeps the balance of good and evil in the universe. The first movie is the origin story of how this particular entity came to be: The Scarlet Samurai: Incarnation. It’s very Eastern in its telling. I’m looking for new investors to come on board with the Red Reaper and Scarlet Samurai franchises. You know, typical Hollywood stuff. :)

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER Born and raised in the heart of New York City, Danita is a singer, writer and lover of romance. She is the author of The Cardiff Novels, a series about one family’s trials with vengeful demons, a legacy of ghosts and mysterious blood jewels. A member of Romance Writers of America, Danita is currently working on the third novel in the Cardiff series, which introduces the family connection to ancient vampires. One more hour with her laptop and Danita is living the dream - mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey.

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Sneak Peek SWORD SISTERS A Red Reaper Novel by Tara Cardinal & Alex Bledsoe PROLOGUE

Cast aside by her mother, tormented (literally) by her father, feared by humans and despised by most of her own kind, Aella is determined not to care. Not to care what they think, not to care if they like her, not to care about anything or anyone. Just so long as no one tries to touch her or imprison her again, Aella couldn’t care less. Until...he pulled an arrow from Aella’s back and kissed her cheek. Until...she carried Aella home and stood between her and a giant spider. And a rioting mob. Until...they came to Aella looking for help. Aella, daughter of demon and witch, must find herself and forge her own route to a destiny she doesn’t want to believe and others simply don’t want. At first a heroine in name alone, Aella discovers she has the strength and the heart to control her demonic lineage and truly wear the title--hero. She also finds something even more valuable: friendship. Amelia, her Sword Sister, isn’t just worth dying for. She’s worth living for.

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The origin of the Demons remains a mystery; even they don’t seem to know. But one day, over a millennium ago, they found their way from their world to ours. That began the Thousand Year War. Unknown to the Demons, they actually created the race that would defeat them: the Reapers. The first of them were hybrids, half demon, half human, born of mortal women raped by Demons. They lived far longer than humans, and could battle the Demons on their own terms. Demon rage fueled by a treacherous human heart is a lethal combination, and these halfbreeds were a vicious and terrible race, destroying humans and Demons with equal ferocity. Tormented and dominated by their Demon fathers, they tortured humans because they did not know right from wrong. They were brutal, unpredictable and chaotic. Their cruelty was legendary and humans learned to hate and fear the Reapers. Humanity fought back, and was all but decimated by the power and rage of these savage and terrifying beasts. Like their Demon fathers they destroyed villages, enslaved the commoners, and raped the women, impregnating them and leaving them to die in childbirth. But those women gave birth to something entirely different. These hybrid creatures were now only one quarter demon. Human mothers died in childbirth whether their rapists were Demons or Reapers—but these were the first Reapers plagued by guilt over the deaths of their human mothers. All over the world something magical happened. Humans came to call it “The Awakening.” Reapers—the younger, more human ones— banded together in a great army, unified by their tremendous need to protect humanity from the unrelenting cruelty of demon kind. These new Reapers became the deadliest warriors our world has ever known. It was the human soul that gave these heroes their

| BTS GOES HOLLYWOOD | advantage in battle. And eventually, they won. The half-breed Reapers were destroyed, the Demons were driven back into the darkness, and an era of peace began. The watered down bloodline yielded surprising changes. These new Reapers were very strong, but weakened with age, a trait not found in their halfblood ancestors. Their lives were shorter. And many of them were barren. Many years passed, and the Awakened Reapers served their human brothers as a warrior class, working tirelessly to repair the damage done by the chaotic half-breed Reapers. Relations were strained between the new Reapers and the surviving humans. Adonis, the leader of the Reapers, began courting the chief oracle of the humans, Diah—a beautiful and powerful “Teller Witch.” Relations improved, and the villages began to rebuild and vie for power, while Reapers kept the peace. Then the unthinkable happened. The Demon leader, Ganesh, kidnapped and raped Diah on her wedding night to Adonis. From this horrible union came Aella, another of the dreaded half-breeds, born with flaming red hair and the fury that goes with it. Although human women died giving birth to Reapers, Diah survived, kept alive by a swallow of Ganesh’s magical blood. Ashamed, she let everyone believe she was dead, especially Adonis, whom she still loved. When Aella was just five in human years, Diah sold her daughter to Ganesh for a bottle of his own blood, which the Teller Witch used to increase her powers and stay alive. Aella was raised among the Demons, but not as one of them: she was tormented as only Demons can torment a child, in ways best left to the imagination, and grew to young womanhood as a victim, nursing fantasies of revenge. In the great final battle of the Thousand Year War, Aella was rescued; brought back to Ilan, chief country of the humans. She lived among the Reapers, but remained isolated, separate from them even in the castle they shared. As the only true half-breed in the castle, and perhaps the world, her Demon nature terrified them, and her relative youth meant she lacked control and maturity. The Teller Witch, before her apparent demise, prophesied that a Reaper with flaming red hair would not only be born, but would become the last of the Reapers, with the strength of ten Demons and the

heart and soul of a human. She would be the last hope of humankind. Was this Aella? No one knew. Many thought not. But the Reapers tolerated her presence, and tried to teach her to control her Demon nature, and waited for a further sign that this was, indeed, her destiny… CHAPTER ONE The arrow in my back had found its way through my ribs and into my lungs. So it was understandable when the boy nudged me with his foot and said, “Hey. Little girl? Little girl?” I should’ve been angry that I’d been discovered, but instead I fixated on his words. Little girl? I thought in outrage. Sure, I wasn’t very tall, and I was sprawled flat on the forest floor between two protruding table-sized rocks, so I guess it was a fair mistake to make. But I was definitely no child. I’m twelve, you ass. Then he asked, “Are you dead?” I wanted to say, That’s a stupid question because how can I answer it yes, but the arrow hurt so bad, and I’d lost so much blood, that I only managed to raise my head and wheeze at him. His dog promptly licked me in the face, then sniffed at my bloody clothes. I tried to twist away, so the dog wouldn’t lap up my blood. That could be a disaster beyond reckoning! “Oh, boy,” he said, and his voice shook. Great, he’s squeamish. I could only see him from the knees down: he wore soft brown boots, the kind with flexible soles so you wouldn’t make noise while hunting. He dropped a bow and arrow beside these boots and said, “Wow, I’m really sorry. I didn’t know anyone was around. Oh, boy, am I in trouble.” Now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers.

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Claire Gillian

The Legend of the Red Reaper

When’s the last time you saw a movie with a tortured kick-ass heroine? I think the most noteworthy movies of late to feature those types of heroines have been young adult dystopian tales—The Hunger Games and Divergent. SpiderMan, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America have all been the traditional male-dominated superhero flicks with female supporting characters. It’s been a while since we had a Ripley from Alien or Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, until titian-haired Aella, aka the Red Reaper, in a medieval, fantasy world.

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they rescue Aella and raise her to be a warrior. However, as foretold, the humans are ready for self-rule and to take care of themselves, thus ending the need for Reapers. The demonic traits that make them ferociously effective in times of danger make them fearsome during times of peace. Aella is especially volatile because of her years of captivity and her sworn vow to one day

For a thousand years, the Reapers guarded mankind from the demons that wait in the dark. Now, at the beginning of a new age, the Reapers are betrayed and slaughtered. Only one Reaper remains - Red, and she’s out to exact revenge.

Aella’s story begins with a prophecy and a horrific vision by her mother, a seer. The prophecy foretells of a human finally ascending the throne and ruling his own kind. Reapers, the half-breed offspring of demon rapes, are the sworn protectors of humans. Aella is a Reaper, the last of her kind, but she has a dark and violent past. Her mother sold her to her biological father for a fountain of youth potion. For forty years, Ganesh held his daughter in captivity, where we learn from her flashbacks and voice-over memories that she was abused. When the Reapers finally banish the demons, 12 |

exact vengeance against Ganesh and his kind. Aella has a softer side, however, and we see a secret love affair between her and the crown prince, Eris. Aella knows they have no future. The prince can never wed a Reaper and is being pressured by his father to choose a human bride. As one of Aella’s kind says, “Love is not for us. Our life is serving and protecting—no more, no less.” The film shows us multiple layers of Aella’s agonizing search for belonging and empowerment— the almost feral fighter seeking to both tame and channel her anger; the heartbroken woman who must watch as her lover chooses a human bride; and the Reaper who is coming into previously unknown but terrifying powers inherited from her mother. Set all these internal conflicts against a backdrop of civil war aided and abetted by the demons who have returned, including Daddy Ganesh who has a join-me-or-die plan for his daughter. Overall, I found Legend of the Red Reaper to have an interesting plot line with creative Florida shoot locations in Castillo de San Marcos, the Sugar Mills Ruins, and The Holy Land Experience, and it’s accompanied by a bold soundtrack. Tara


Cardinal gives a solid performance in the lead role of Aella. She is also the film’s writer, director, and producer. Legend of the Red Reaper possesses elements that will appeal to both male and female audiences with action, romance, and even a few comic moments. I particularly enjoyed the scene where the crown prince sends an eye-rolling proxy to woo Aella with a poem. Violence and love scenes

are subdued or offscreen, making Legend of the Red Reaper suitable for older children. I would especially recommend it for teenaged girls.

Claire Gillian, author of The P.U.R.E., is a number-crunching executive by day and a computer warrior by night. She also writes naughtier fiction as Lila Shaw. No matter which name she uses, Claire is happiest penning romance drenched in humor with a dash of intrigue and a pinch of spice. -

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Dianne Duvall Interview from the May/June 2014 issue

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Immortal Guardians series. Her books have twice been nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance and have all been deemed Top Picks by Romantic Times, the Romance Reviews, and/or Night Owl Reviews. Interviewed by Myra Nour What books have you had turned into “mini movies”? I’ve made trailers and scenes for Phantom Shadows, Immortal Guardians Book 3, and Darkness Rises, Immortal Guardians Book 4. What was involved in getting them made into these neat mini treats? Since the trailers and scenes are basically short independent films, I went through all of the steps independent filmmakers do. Fortunately, I work in the local independent film industry when I’m not writing, so I already had contacts and knew what was entailed. I began by issuing a casting call through all of the online channels afforded those in the film business. I then scheduled and held auditions. Once I selected the actors I thought would best suit the roles, I worked with an award-winning independent filmmaker/director on creating short scripts for the shoot. All footage was shot in one day. Because these were independent films, I needed not just a cast, but also all of those whose work is so crucial behind the scenes: director, director of photography, and a production and lighting crew. I also needed props, for which—I admit—it was fun to shop. Production for the Phantom Shadows trailers proved to be particularly challenging. Local meteorologists predicted a 10% chance of rain that day. We ended up getting a downpour. The director, actors, and crew, however, were phenomenal and worked right through it without complaint. And I think the rain ended up adding great atmosphere to the movies. Once production wrapped on each project, it was time to edit the movies. Editing is usually my favorite job in filmmaking. (I work preproduction, production, and post-production.) It can be very timeconsuming, though, and writing deadlines loomed. So I turned over editing the trailers and scenes to a very talented film editor I’ve worked 14 |

with in the past. He knew what I was looking for and transformed the hours of footage into brief, eye-catching trailers and short scenes. I added a few special effects—one of the vampire’s eyes glowing, for instance. Then it was on to the film scorer, who has won awards for his work both in film and in the classical realm. The end results are what you can see on my website and Youtube. What kind of response have you had from fans about the mini movies? The response has been all that I had hoped it would be. Very positive. Very enthusiastic. Very rewarding. I’ve even been approached by other authors who want to know what was involved in the production of them. As someone who works in the indie film industry, I always knew I wanted to make “film trailers” for my books and create visual excerpts of some of the scenes within them, so I’m thrilled both by the results and by readers’ responses. Please share with our readers what book you are currently working on? I just finished going over copyedits and proofs for Night Unbound, the fifth book in my Immortal Guardians series. It will be released on September 2, 2014, and revolves around Lisette, a two-century old immortal who has long labored beneath the guilt of accidentally transforming her brothers, and Zach, a dark and mysterious winged figure who has incurred the wrath of the Immortal Guardians’ powerful leader. As


danger stalks the Immortal Guardians, Lisette and Zach will risk everything—and I do mean everything—for love. I also have begun writing Book 6 in the series, as well as a novella that will be featured in an anthology similar to Predatory. Both books will be released in 2015.

Immortal Guardians: Darkness Rises,

Immortal Guardians: Darkness Rises,

For centuries, Lisette d’Alençon has been a warrior against the dark. She fights alongside her brothers and comrades. But when the dreams start coming, she can’t bear to confess them to the Immortal Guardians’ command. Dreams of a dark-haired man with soft eyes and brutal wounds, a man her heart aches for—and a man she knows has been declared a traitor. Zach is an exile, a loner. He won’t defend himself against false accusation or grovel to those who should have faith in him. But he’ll damn sure defend the woman who kept him sane against a plague of supervamps that seems to have appeared from nowhere. The Guardians will blame him, and that will make Lisette suspect, too. With life, death and eternity on the line, who can they really trust? Dianne’s Youtube Channel

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SHAYNE LEIGHTON Interview from the May/June 2014 issue

Shayne Leighton is as multi-faceted as a jewel with each point of light glinting on a different passion. On one turn she was the ambitious high school student who wrote and then starred in the dark fairytale The Incubus. On another turn, the seasoned actress co-starred alongside scream queen Tara Cardinal in The Legend of Red Reaper, a fantasy filled with witches, demons, war and romance.

Interviewed by Danita Minnis

Shayne, your new song Remember: The Anti-Bullying anthem holds such a positive message for kids around the world. It sounds like a cause that is very special to you. Tell us how you became involved in this inspirational mission.

Also of Shayne’s passion is writing. She has penned the bestselling young adult series Of Light and Darkness. There are more of her yummy vampires to come as she will soon release the third book in this series. Signed to Spectra Music Group, Shayne reveals another facet of her passions as a budding recording artist. Her song, Remember: The AntiBullying Anthem is a balm for the soul and speaks to the unfortunate battle many children face on school campuses and on social media.

Remember is (going to be) a really fantastic, and inspirational thing that I cannot wait to unleash upon the world. It was kismet that I joined Brenda As Shayne’s world turns, there is no Obrien’s fantastic musical telling where her light will shine next project. I am currently in the but one thing is certain; we could use development and production a few more jewels like her. of my debut EP, to be released with Spectra Music Group and Spectra Records. While recording the first track at Power Station Studios, I was introduced to OBrien—famed songwriter of Two Kings, performed by Pam Tillis and Kris Thomas from The Voice. Apart from my label project, I began working with Brenda on her vision, helping her to establish her presence online and the building of her websites. It was after a few months, that she presented her idea about writing an anthem directed to rally people against bullying, which I think is such a current and absolutely important topic to keep at the forefront of 16 |

our national conversation. We began writing the song Remember with songwriter, Steve Argy. We would meet once a week at my home for jam sessions to pre-record the demo. (I live in a high-rise, so I’m sure my neighbors LOVED that…not!) It is and was an absolute labor of love that is turning out to be something that is really sensational and heartfelt. Bullying is an issue that hits close to home for me, so doing my part to raise awareness, along with such a fabulous team of people, has been enlightening and totally fulfilling. I love opportunities that allow me to make a difference, while doing what I love to do. We have been filming the music video, and recording the main vocal tracks. The project has really turned into an amazing collaboration between myself, Kris Thomas and Karina Iglesias from season four of The Voice, famed vocalist, Wendy Moten, and talented up andcomers, Nick Obrien and Linzy Rose. The song and video will be released VERY soon on www.RememberSong. com We also release behind the scenes photos and videos every week, which people can find by visiting the project’s facebook page, theremembersong It really will be quite the anthem. My husband and I will be flying to Memphis at the end of the month (March) with Brenda to complete work on the song and video.

| BTS GOES HOLLYWOOD | In high school you wrote, co-directed and starred in your first feature film, the paranormal romance The Incubus. Does love hold an otherworldly quality for you? I really have always been such a hopeless romantic, so yes, love has always had an otherworldly quality in my mind. I truly believe it is a form of magic on earth, so I love to depict it that way in my novels and films. The Incubus was a fantastic experience, because it taught me so many life lessons and introduced so many fascinating people into my life. That project was also a labor of love, definitely a learning-curve, and a life-changing experience. The story definitely harbors that high school romance angst that we all experience in our teen years, and so seeing that project come to fruition in such a big way was a lot of fun! And, it is actually because of that film, that I am married to the love of my life today! Your best-selling young adult vampire series Of Light and Darkness, published with Decadent Publishing, takes us into the stylish world of Prague. In the first two books, The Vampire’s Daughter and The Vampire’s Reflection, fans enjoy your true-to-legend vampires. What’s next in this series? I always say that the Of Light and Darkness series is like my “Sistine Chapel” of writing, just because, even in my short career, it is my most favorite thing I have ever written. These characters have become family, and this setting is definitely a second home, to me. I get so nostalgic whenever I visit or see photos of Prague, because I feel like I’ve been there so many times. The Vampire’s Daughter and The Vampire’s Reflection were so much fun to write, because both of these installments allowed me to bring back that classic, blood-lusty vampire, all while building a strange, new world that some readers have likened to Alice In Wonderland. It is not just a simple “vampire story”. I am so excited about the release of the third installment in the series, The Vampire’s Hourglass, because it ushers readers from that strange world that they have become familiar with in the previous two stories, and introduces them to a whole, new atmosphere of the “underworld”. I don’t want to give BTS Special Edition| 17

| BTS Special Edition | anything away, but I am really excited to introduce a whole new cast of colorful characters that I think readers will really love to hate, and brings about a lot of new action and friction to the overall arch of the series. We are working fervently on edits now, so the release date will be very soon. We are also releasing a companion novel that is parallel with the series. In the first book, Charlotte, my only human character, refers a lot to a text book she carries with her called The Anatomy of Vampires: Volume One, so I actually decided to pen that book and release it. Essentially, it is a fictional non-fiction book that explains the rules of this magical world to better immerse the reader and brings about even more of an understanding, I feel. There will be seven installments in this series, and I have plans for other companion titles, and a spin-off, so Of Light and Darkness will hopefully “live on” for quite a while…just like my vampires. You play Tara Cardinal’s sister in her fantasy

novel Sword Sisters. Does the actress in you ever interact with the characters in your books to help complete a scene? Yes. To clarify, I played Tara’s sister in the film adaptation of the feature project that started it all, Legend of the Red Reaper, to which Sword Sisters is a prequel. That was loads of fun because it is such a different world than the one I am used to living in. 18 |

Whereas Of Light and Darkness is more of a twisted, Gothic fairytale that I can liken to Anne Rice meets the fantasy worlds of Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle), Red Reaper is more of that medieval sword and sorcery genre that everyone loves and has people flocking to Renaissance festivals for. Two different types of magic. Two intricate, detailed, awesome stories that has readers and fans coming back for more. To answer your question, I always play out scenes that I’m writing in my head as though I were watching them on a movie screen. I appreciate stories that are cinematic and evocative, so I think the best writing must be felt with the heart. As an actress, author and recording artist you are a triple threat in the entertainment industry. With a long career ahead of you, what is the one thing you haven’t done yet that you are excited to accomplish? I love all that I do equally. It is hard to choose just one facet of my career that I enjoy more than the other. It is impossible when people tell me to focus on just one thing. I think my next goal is just to simply accomplish national or global awareness with any of these things. I’ve had my small successes, but I am not stopping until every rock is unturned. Instead of exploring a new talent in something I have not done yet, I would like to master what I already do know how to do, and to do it to the best of my ability. I would perhaps love to reach a New York Times or USA Today bestseller statues, get that gold record, or see one of my films in theaters all over the country. For now, I’ll just keep plugging away, and keep learning all that I can. Thanks so much for the opportunity to be interviewed and read by new eyes. As an independent artist, I appreciate it more than you know!

Visit Shayne’s Website Visit Shayne on Facebook Connect with Shayne on Twitter

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KEITH ROMMEL Interview from the July/August 2014 issue

Interviewed by Danita Minnis

Keith is an award-winning author and retail manager. He’s enjoyed collecting comic books since he was a child (a hobby inspired by a teacher in grade school to help overcome a reading comprehension disability) and is a total nerd. Keith authored the critically acclaimed dark suspense Thanatology Series which has been called, “Horror for the curious mind” and includes the titles The Cursed Man, The Lurking Man and The Sinful Man. Keith has dabbled in psychological crime with the fast-paced You Killed My Brother and the soon to be released mythological novel entitled Among The People. Keith is the co screenplay writer for The Cursed Man movie being filmed in Los Angeles, California as a major motion picture under the same title (and he still doesn’t believe it’s true - but it is and someone needs to slap him!).

Keith, as the award-winning author of dark suspense, Death is never very far from your mind and plays a major role in your stories. I can’t think of anything more horrific than Death stalking someone. Can you? To me Death is one of the biggest questions to mankind. It is something that invokes fear and controversy. No matter your stance, we’re all going to have to face it one day. There is no escaping that fact. Some people might be afraid of it and others may welcome it. But I do think from time to time, no matter your stance, sometime throughout your life, the question of how and when it will happen plague us. That leaves another question and it is probably the most important one of them all. What’s on the other side waiting for us and did the way we lived our life affect what we’re going to face? That’s the place I like to tell my stories. The characters I focus on do not send a message of happily ever after. I need tension. Real life tension that puts someone face to face with Death. The entity, behaving in a way you may not expect. In all of the books in the Thanatology series, Death had a very specific plight. Maybe you’ll find yourself sympathizing with Death more than the main character because who says it’s easy taking a life?

One particularly frightening aspect of your latest release The Sinful Man is the abject isolation Leopold experiences as he is being chased by the mob in the woods. How important is psychological tension in your stories and what other goodies do you love to pull out of your Author tool kit? The fear of the unknown is a powerful catalyst. What’s on the other side of Death waiting for us and did the way we lived our life affect what we’re going to face? 19 |

That’s the place I like to tell my stories. The characters I focus on do not send a message of happily ever after. I need tension. Real life tension that puts someone face to face with Death. The entity, behaving in a way you may not expect. In all of the books in the Thanatology series, Death had a very specific plight. Maybe you’ll find yourself sympathizing with Death more than the main character because who says it’s easy taking a life, even for Death? As your thriller The Cursed Man is being made into a movie, what are the challenges you faced bringing your characters to life on the big screen? The Cursed Man took me five years to write. I wrote the story by hand, and rewrote it more than a dozen times. The biggest challenge I had being so close to the story was which scene or scenes I had to cut out to get the movie to fit into a 2 hour window. What I was going through at that time often reminds me of the scene in the movie where the bad guy holds the family hostage and has the parent at his side. He’s swinging the gun back and forth between two children, demanding the parent to pick which child gets to live and which one gets to die. Writing a book versus writing a screenplay, definitely more than one hat to put on. Did you have to make a mental shift as a writer to write your screenplay for The Cursed Man? The biggest challenge I came across in the mental shift actually came with acclimating myself to the details of

| BTS Special Edition | the story again. I had already written The Lurking Man and a crime book called You Killed My Brother. So the details of The Cursed Man were buried deep in my brain as I moved forward with other story outlines I had. So when I reread The Cursed Man I was rather surprised at the complexity of the story and read it with an eye of enjoyment rather than critiquing it so much. What’s next for Keith Rommel? I have quite a few things going on right now. They finished the principal shooting of the film and have now gone to editing and creating the CGI. I’ve seen some of it and it is brilliant. The movie company is looking at a late October release so I’m sure I’ll be doing plenty of PR work for that. There are talks about turning The Lurking Man into a motion picture so we will see how that turns out. I’m about a week away from the release of The Sinful Man (which will probably be out by the time the this article hits) and immediately following I’ll be releasing a novel called Among the People. I take a step into the supernatural with that one and dabble in a story where an angel that fell from the grace of God with Satan. In this, the present day, he is on the run from the minions of Hell, hiding among the people because he discovered something out about Hell that disturbs him so much, he wishes to return to Heaven. But it is said once an angel falls from Heaven, they can never return. And lastly, I’m writing the fourth book in the Thanatology series entitled The Silent Woman. This story is powerful and I can’t wait to get it out there! IMDB listing: fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm Official site: Twitter: Facebook: Get your LIMITED EDITION HARDCOVER version of THE CURSED MAN. Kept at only 500 copies, this hard cover book with cloth on boards and a dust jacket is going to be a great collectible.

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Watch the Trailer!


Keith Rommel

The Cursed Man Psychological Suspense

Alister Kunkle believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill. With his family deceased and a path of destruction behind him, Alister sits inside a mental institution, sworn to silence and separated from the rest of the world, haunted by his inability to escape death’s preferential treatment. But when a beautiful psychologist arrives at the institution and starts offering him care, Alister braces himself for more killings. When none follow, he tries to figure out whether he truly is insane or if death has finally come to him in the form of a woman.

The ONLY way to get this book is through the publisher’s website as this is a “collectors edition” in celebration of the coming movie.

Review: The Cursed Man was an interesting read. Following the path through Alister’s troubled life that leads to voluntarily institutionalizing himself, one can’t but wonder if Alister is simply insane. To think that you are cursed because people around you die? Seems like a misdirected way of thinking or weird coincidences. But, then as the story unfolds, the reader begins to understand no one who has direct contact with Alister lives very long after first meeting him. A mysterious female doctor who visits disturbs him. Alister doesn’t want another death on his conscience. But then Dr. Lee returns the morning after their visit unscathed. He begins to hope—perhaps the curse is broken. Things go downhill fast when Alister realizes there are horrific bizarre things happening at the institution. He becomes convinced Death is stalking him again, wreaking havoc on those around him. By the end of the story, I was vacillating between is he is crazy or is Death real? I’m not going to give a spoiler because this is one of those books where you will want to discover the truth yourself. I recommend this book for those who like Suspense mixed with Psychological elements. Someone in Hollywood loved it, because this book is being made into a movie. | Reviewer Lois Chandler | BTS Special Edition | 21

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TOM NOWICKI Interview from the July/August 2014 issue

Tom Nowicki is an American actor with over 100 film and television credits. He has appeared in such feature films as THE BLIND SIDE and REMEMBER THE TITANS. Tom received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and dramatic art training from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In the Fall of 2014, he will appear in USA Network’s television series SATISFACTION.

Interviewed by Danita Minnis

Inside Tom Nowicki the actor is a literature teacher in THE BLIND SIDE and a football coach in REMEMBER THE TITANS. Somewhere in there hides a 500-yearold warrior king in the fantasy epic THE LEGEND OF RED REAPER. How was it to make the shift from gritty realism to magic and mysticism? Refreshing or scary? More fun than a barrel of flying monkeys! A big part of why we become actors, obviously (I suppose) is to try on other lives, get to live and die in all different kinds of dimensions and realities. And when the role takes you out into the 500-year-old warrior-king realm, there’s not a lot of rules you need to obey. For your imagination, it’s like letting your Spaniel loose at the dog park after he’s been stuck in the house all week...I’m still trying to lure mine back, get a leash on him... I mean, for chrissake I was swinging a broadsword! You don’t come back the same… True, a broadsword definitely sharpens the edge, so to speak. Does Tom the Producer ever get in the way of Tom the Actor? How was Adonis the warrior king in The Legend of Red Reaper affected by the producer in you? Well, first, I have to explain that my producer-philosophy is heavily influenced by Tom Sawyer: I convince my friends to do a project that will be GREAT for me, then get THEM to do the hard work. So as long as I’m at the center of attention, it all feels just about the same. But Tara and her company did an almost magical job with RED REAPER, making things that we needed seem to appear from out of nowhere. They had next to no money at all, but they spent it brilliantly (other than hiring me...). One thing they did that all young filmmakers should do: they hired a driven, gifted, and very experienced cinematographer, Irv Goodanov, who had been there a million times before and had no doubts about how to make a movie. When the person with the camera knows how to get what the director needs, the actors, at least this actor, are much happier. Let your  camera-friends from film-school learn on other 22 |

people’s movies; pay what it takes to get experience (and a movie that cuts together).  I think that answers your question? It does. I think Tom Sawyer would have loved to take part in your adventure. I see a love of theatre in that menacing stare when you’re in character. What role has theatre played in your development as an actor?   You know, I think that “menace” was developed in a different place...In my youth, I was a professional wrestler, “Lord Larry Oliver, Evil Genius  of the South.” And in that world, which is kind of a kabuki world, you learn how to get to your demons and hone your ferocity. But yes, I am as much a creature of the theatre as you can get. I had the gift early on of attending a high school that had a real theatre department run by an amazing woman, Anne Derflinger, who had worked in  the capitals of theatrical art and remained a true believer in its power to change us all for the better. For Ms. Derflinger, it all came down to the actor striving to tell the truth in every moment; no lies and no embroidery, which is the key to good acting no matter the medium. Of course, making even a very modest living in the theatre is nearly impossible, so I started sneaking out to do TV and film to stay solvent, and it turned out that those gods liked me more than the theatre ones, so...I get back to legitimate theatre as often as I can, and it feels so good... Tell us about your latest television project, USA Network’s SATISFACTION.   SATISFACTION is about a young Wall Street broker, played by Matt Densmore (THE GLADES) who gets


tired of making even more money for people who already have too much of it, and decides to use his talents to do good. Of course, we’re not going to let him get away with that....I play a 500-year-old bond-trader-king (told you I couldn’t put down the broadsword...) SATISFACTION is created and produced by Sean Jablonski, who created WHITE COLLAR and SUITS, and the show has the same urban sexiness, the same high-stakes stories. It will be on this Fall, and I hope everyone will watch it. I think you’ll like it. Hmmm…broadswords and satisfaction. It sure doesn’t sound like you’ll be following any rules - yes, Tom, we’ll be tuning in this Fall.

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER Born and raised in the heart of New York City, Danita is a singer, writer and lover of romance. She is the author of The Cardiff Novels, a series about one family’s trials with vengeful demons, a legacy of ghosts and mysterious blood jewels. A member of Romance Writers of America, Danita is currently working on the third novel in the Cardiff series, which introduces the family connection to ancient vampires. One more hour with her laptop and Danita is living the dream - mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey.

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ALEX BLEDSOE Interview from the September/October 2014 issue

either. “Wilderness” is big enough to accommodate all of them. While Alex Bledsoe’s fans come in droves for the sword and sorcery tales he spins, they stay for the realistic worlds he creates in his novels. Read one of Alex’s urban fantasies and commune with gritty characters in a world that very much seems like home. A background as a reporter, editor, photography and even vacuum cleaner salesman only adds to the hard-edged humor in Alex Bledsoe’s novels. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and three children.

Interviewed by Danita Minnis Alex, your latest installment of the Eddie LaCrosse series He Drank, and Saw the Spider delivers the fantasy-fest your fans can’t get enough of. Who or what inspired you to create Eddie LaCrosse and his humorous misadventures? I first started thinking about this character back in high school. I wanted to have a fantasy hero who wasn’t an idealistic boy like Frodo or Luke Skywalker, but who also wasn’t the wise old sage: a guy who had some mileage on him, but was still in his prime. There weren’t a lot of those back then, though thankfully they’re more common now. My initial template was Tom Skerritt’s Captain Dallas in the original “Alien”: I loved his low-key, and ultimately doomed, heroics. In fact, in my head, that’s who Eddie looks like. You began the magical world of the Tufa clan with The Hum and The Shiver. In 2013, you took us back to those haunting Smoky Mountains in Wisp of a Thing. Wilderness is an intriguing setting in your stories and used to maximize psychological games. Does the wilderness hold an otherworldly quality for you? I grew up in a tiny Tennessee town, so “wilderness” was never more than a hundred yards away in any direction. I spent my childhood catching frogs, lizards and snakes. That’s a kind of tactile, hands-on relationship with nature that many kids (including my own, alas) can’t get when they live in town. Sure, you can take them to a park, but it’s not the same as walking out your own back door and startling a black racer snake so that it shoots away along the foundation line. And that’s the paradox of “wilderness” for me; it’s both entirely mundane, something I’ve touched with my own hands, and simultaneously mysterious, grand and magical. When you see a thick stand of trees, you can make an educated guess about the plants and animals you’d find there. At the same time, the presence of faeries, gnomes, trolls and nymphs doesn’t seem entirely out of the question, 25 |

You have worked as an editor and a reporter, which may potentially be stylistic opposites. During the creative process does the reporter in you help in thinking out of the box when writing? Does the editor shut him down? They work pretty well together. The reporter does the first draft, which gets the idea out and provides the raw material, and the editor does everything after that. Sometimes they overlap, but it’s seldom a problem. I will say that it’s LOADS more fun being the editor than the reporter. Beginning with 2009’s Blood Grove, you explore the seedy side of Tennessee’s nightlife, vampire style. Let’s talk Baron Rudolfo Vladimir Zginski in Girls with Games of Blood, the follow-up to Blood Grove. Baron Zginski is gritty and humorous. He has a certain appeal and is quite human for a vampire. What inspired this excessive vampire? I wanted to have a vampire who was compelling and interesting, but also scary—you know, like Dracula, or, before him, Varney and Carmilla. They haven’t really been scary since Anne Rice came along in 1976, which is one reason I set both novels in 1975. I deliberately took the surface tropes of Dracula—old world Eastern Europe origin, royal title, power over other vampires—then tweaked them a bit, making him at heart more a con man than a nobleman, giving him historically accurate misogynistic and racist attitudes, then forcing him to address all that if he wants to survive in the 70s.

| BTS GOES HOLLYWOOD | With a body of work that includes swords and sorcery, vampires and ancient clans, you take us on mixed-genre adventures that readers can’t resist. What is the one thing you haven’t yet explored with your writing that you are excited to share? Oh, man, I can’t pick one. I have tons of ideas I’d work on if I had more time. I’d like to do a pure, balls-out horror novel. I touched on it a bit with my two vampire novels, but they were ultimately (to me, at least) about other things. I have an idea for one, and I’ve written about 200 pages, but I can only work on it when I have down time from other projects, which (thankfully) I haven’t had much of lately. I’d also like to do a western with dinosaurs, a kind of tribute to The Valley of Gwangi, my favorite childhood movie. And I’ve toyed around with a kind of Southern Gothic autobiographical thriller, but I haven’t done much actual work on it. Finally, I’d like to do a superhero novel, which I have an idea for, but not much else. And I have a great title for a zombie novel, but no plot.

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER Born and raised in the heart of New York City, Danita is a singer, writer and lover of romance. She is the author of The Cardiff Novels, a series about one family’s trials with vengeful demons, a legacy of ghosts and mysterious blood jewels. A member of Romance Writers of America, Danita is currently working on the third novel in the Cardiff series, which introduces the family connection to ancient vampires. One more hour with her laptop and Danita is living the dream - mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey.

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BILL & SUSAN HAYES Interview from the November/December 2014 issue

Veterans of the stage and screen, Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes are an unbeatable creative force. Still working the day job at the beloved soap Days of Our Lives, Bill and Susan enjoy collaborating on lush romances with pen and ink.

Interviewed by Danita Minnis Bill and Susan, you are the king and queen of the soap opera world and star in the long-running fan favorite Days of Our Lives. What made you go from acting to writing the historical romance Trumpet? Was it a natural extension of your own timeless romance? Susan: “Write about what you know” everyone says, and indeed after forty years of deliriously happy marriage off screen and dramatic situations onscreen, I believe we do know what love feels like, both the highs and lows. Then too, we are actors first of all, so we spun a story of an actress in another age (The age of Napoleon, Jane Austin, and the discoveries of ancient tombs and temples in Egypt). Trumpet took seven years to research and write. Too long, perhaps, but we traveled to every location we described and had a delicious time. Twenty years of history are crammed in there amid the trials and passions of an English actress. Many of the experiences described we had lived, but I won’t share which ones. For the final draft we sat side by side at the computer reading it all, aloud, making the final cuts, changes and edits. Talk about a bonding experience! I recommend collaborating on a work of art, if you want to deepen a relationship. Bill: Susan and I are both romantics. We breathe romance, we think romance, we fantasize romantic situations. For us to write romance is our natural expression. We love to travel back in imagination to exciting times in history. For us to write of life during the Regency Period is pure joy. Theatre—acting, singing, entertaining—has ruled our careers, our studies, our lives. What else could we have written about? It had to be the story of a dreamer who dedicates mind, heart and soul to a life in theatre! Of course Lizzie Trumpet makes mistakes along way; who of us doesn’t? But she does fall in love, she does hone her talent, she does taste the heady wine of success. I love her. Acting, singing, dancing and writing; you’ve done it all. With a career that started in the Golden Age of television, what is your inspiration 27 |

for longevity and keeping it fresh in multiple venues? Susan: Believe in the material. Commit everything you’ve got to the story, the song, the moment. Half-hearted critical performers (thinking they are better than the play, the scene, the character), soon lose the audience’s faith because they had lost it themselves. Just get on with it, show up on time and don’t bump into the furniture. Bill: The infancy of our careers coincided with the childhood of television. We were trying our wings at the same time TV emerged from the cocoon of experimentalism and began to supersede radio and vaudeville, to distinguish itself from cinema, to create its own individuality. Equipment was primitive. Except for a few early John Wayne movies, programs and commercials were frighteningly LIVE-LIVE-LIVE, so that when you goofed, the entire country saw it happen. The result—inspired or dreadful—was exciting for both performers and viewers. That excitement became a part of us. Whether we are onstage in a play, or doing our act in Australia, or playing a Doug and Julie love scene, that feeling of LIVE-LIVELIVE has never left us. That’s who we are! Artistry is honesty. Truer words were never spoken when it comes to your witty and heartwarming memoir Like Sands Through the Hourglass. How challenging was it to bare

| BTS GOES HOLLYWOOD | your love and life through the written word? Susan: We wrote the memoir ourselves, no ghost writer smoothing our feelings or juicing up the past. An editor far away in New York guided us, but in five months on our own we scribbled on yellow legal pads and made the deadline without a nervous breakdown. The Soap Opera editor for TV Guide said it was the best book ever put together about the soaps, because we were so honest. Of course it’s about our lives in show business and the emotions that stir us to risk being emotionally naked before an audience. Why bother if you’re not going to tell the truth? Bill: Before we put our lives and souls on paper for all to see in LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS, we discussed how deeply we were going to reveal ourselves. We decided that each of us would write the truth as we saw it—even if our perceptions were exactly opposite. We determined to tell the good and the bad, the hurtful as well as the sweet, and to include both successes and failures, so that readers would not only experience DAYS OF OUR LIVES from our perspectives, but also come to know us as Bill and Susan, not just as our fictional personas. That said, our writing just happened to result in a love story—a love of our world of theatrical make-believe, of family, of life, of our collaborative relationship, and a love of each other. It’s real, and people sense that. During the creative process, actors and writers often think in terms of a legacy. What do you want to be remembered for? Susan: I would like to think I entertained a few million people in the afternoons for a while, and they remember a bit of it with a warming glow. That’s enough. That’s a great deal, really. Bill: My life dream has been to create joy, not sadness, wherever I am. I see the world through laughter, music, achievement, togetherness, family. I prefer positive to negative, creation rather than destruction, hope over discouragement. I’m a lover, not a hater. To be remembered for this would be a dream come true.

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER Born and raised in the heart of New York City, Danita is a singer, writer and lover of romance. She is the author of The Cardiff Novels, a series about one family’s trials with vengeful demons, a legacy of ghosts and mysterious blood jewels. A member of Romance Writers of America, Danita is currently working on the third novel in the Cardiff series, which introduces the family connection to ancient vampires. One more hour with her laptop and Danita is living the dream - mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey.

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KARL ALEXANDER Interview from the January/February 2015 issue

Interviewed by Danita Minnis

Karl Alexander, a fifth-generation Angeleno, is the author of six novels, including “Papa and Fidel,” a novel of Hemingway, Castro and Cuba. His bestselling novel “Time After Time” was made into a hit film starring Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen, for which he was dubbed a Knight of Mark Twain for his contribution to American Literature. His second novel, “Missing Pieces,” was made into a CBS World Premiere movie starring Elizabeth Montgomery. He also produced and cowrote the horror film, “Rattlers.” He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and served as a Marine Corps officer in the Vietnam War. He has been a college professor, and has also worked as a lighting director in Hollywood, creating the “look” for Robert tack in “Unsolved Mysteries.” His fifth novel, “Jaclyn the Ripper,” the long awaited sequel to “Time After Time,” was published in hardcover in 2009 and paperback in 2011. “Time After Time” and “Papa & Fidel” came out in trade editions in 2010. All are available as ebooks. “Time-Crossed Lovers,” (October, 2012) has received rave reviews. If you like thriller love stories, this book is for you. It has been honored as an Award Winning Finalist for the 2013 International Book Awards.

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Karl, your best-selling science fiction novel Time After Time not only contained an entertaining twist on time travel with H. G. Wells as a main character, but it was also made into a very successful film starring Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen. If you had the power to change history as a writer, where would you go in your time machine, and what incident would you rewrite? That’s a hard question to come up with a quick answer. Changing one moment in history would have a domino effect on lots more history. So, I guess to avoid doing all that how about we go back to the first recorded murder—Cain and Abel? Hopefully, if Cain hadn’t killed Abel the nature of human violence would be radically changed—making the world a more peaceful and safer place in which to live. An intriguing aspect of Jaclyn the Ripper is the psychological tension created by chasing a murderer through time. How important is it to have your readers feel that chase, and what other goodies do you love to pull out of your author tool kit? It’s very important for my readers to feel the chase. If they don’t, they aren’t in the story. Out of my toolkit? Yes, surprise and irony. You are known as the Knight of Mark Twain for your contribution to American literature. What artistic insights did you discover in Mark Twain’s work, and how did they challenge you as a writer? Mark Twain? Humor, irony, and surprise. I borrowed them from him, and he obviously borrowed them from someone else. Oh, and unique and interesting characters. I don’t have a natural sense of humor, and it’s impossible in my own mind to live up to the image of Mark Twain, but, alas, I’ll keep trying.

| BTS Goes Hollywood |

What’s next for Karl Alexander? I’m in the process of developing two screenplays for production and trying to sell the television rights to my latest book, Two, which is about teenage supergirls who rewrite their own lives with the help of a literary time machine.

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER Born and raised in the heart of New York City, Danita is a singer, writer and lover of romance. She is the author of The Cardiff Novels, a series about one family’s trials with vengeful demons, a legacy of ghosts and mysterious blood jewels. A member of Romance Writers of America, Danita is currently working on the third novel in the Cardiff series, which introduces the family connection to ancient vampires. One more hour with her laptop and Danita is living the dream - mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey.

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