Category Archives: Interviews

Interview With ….

One Summer Night Blog Tour banner


Hi Caridad. Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you as a person. 
I am a Type AAA personality which means I am always going, going, going.  If I am not at my day job or writing, I am helping my daughter with her surf and skate shop, mentoring other writers at Liberty States Fiction Writers, or just hanging out on the beach (Okay, I do have to stop sometime! LOL).  I’d love to be a full-time writer and maybe have a bed and breakfast where I could whip up amazing meals and help other writers improve their craft.

Caridad Pineiro

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
That is a tough one!  I think it would have to be Queen Elizabeth.  I got hooked watching The Crown and the Queen is someone who has lived through some fascinating times and has such a unique and seemingly archaic role in a very modern world.  I would love to know how her vision has changed from when she first ascended to the throne to now and how she’s dealt with being a woman in such a high position of power.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
ONE SUMMER NIGHT, first book in the At the Shore series, is a Romeo and Juliet meets a marriage of convenience tale.  Yes, it sounds complicated and it is because the hero, Owen Pierce, is trying to do everything he can to make the heroine, Maggie Sinclair, love him, but to do so he has to defy his father who is intent on holding a decades old grudge against the heroine’s father.  As you can imagine, lies build upon lies shakily until it all comes crashing down and Owen has to prove to Maggie that his love for her was true.  I loved writing the complex emotions in both of the characters as well as the supporting cast of Maggie’s best friends and Owen’s younger brother (the hero of #2 in the series).

One Summer Night

What is your writing process? 
I write a lot on the train during my commute to and from NYC for my day job.  On the weekends I put in a solid stretch of 3 or so hours.  During winters I do that indoors while watching the TV, but my favorite time is in the spring and summer when I can go out on my little balcony and write with the sound of the nearby ocean.

Tell us about your main character.
I had just finished writing a dark paranormal novel when this character popped into my head and just wouldn’t leave me alone.  She was spunky, determined and fun and I knew she needed special story that would inspire people not to give up on their dreams.  That heroine was Maggie and when she brought along her friends, I just knew I had to write her story.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I would love to have someone like Nina Dobrev or Victoria Justice.  I think they both look the way I imagined Maggie Sinclair. Cool and elegant.  Beautiful.

What are you working on next?
I am currently working on #3 in the At the Shore series.  #2 – WHAT HAPPENS IN SUMMER – will be out in late spring 2018 and #3 will be out in late summer 2018.  I am hoping to write more stories set in Sea Kiss with some of the men and women you meet in #3.  I also will be rel-releasing some of my earlier contemporary romances and working on new stories in The Calling is Reborn Vampire Novel Series.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Social media is about being social.  I think people get turned off by having a constant cycle of “buy me buy me” all the time.  You need to engage people, make them laugh, share yourself and not just the book.  Another thing to remember is, You’re the brand.  The book is just a product.  Your brand is what’s most important.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
That’s a tough one.  I’d have to say Lois Winston’s latest release – Scrapbook of Murder.  I love Lois’s dry humor and the way she mixes up crafts in her cozy mysteries.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I wish that I could say that I did, but I don’t.  But I try try try to improve what talents I have, whether it’s writing, cooking or doing crafts.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
I think the power of speed since I could rush from place-to-place to help people and do more things in less time.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Sip wine in Tuscany.
  • Stand on the Great Wall of China
  • Orbit the Earth in the Space Station
  • Sing Do-Re-Mi while skipping through the streets of Salzburg
  • Visit where my family lived in Cuba

Where can readers find you on the web?
Readers can connect with me at You can also find me on:

Twitter at
Facebook at
Pinterest at
Goodreads at

If you want to receive my newsletter with exclusive content just for subscribers and special giveaways, please visit to sign up.

Any final thoughts?
Thank you so so much for sharing my new release and taking the time to interview me!

YW 🙂 


Max Sharam – Creatives On The Couch Promo

Get tickets to see Max Sharam in concert at The Toff In Town, Swanston, Street, Melbourne, February 16th

Creatives On The Couch ~ Guest C.A.Milson

This week new episode is live on C31. Special guest is C.A.Milson

Interview With ….


Isabelle, thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you. 
If I were an animal, I would be a mountain goat – minus the goat. I love the outdoors, and mountains in particular and whenever I have a chance, I am on one: hiking, biking and/or skiing. Despite now calling myself a writer, my first love was math and quantitative models. I used to love just working with my computer. But my life now could not be more different. I hardly even build a spreadsheet, and spend my time talking and managing. It is interesting how life evolves when you are open to it.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Whenever I get asked a question of who is my favorite person, or role model, or who I’d like to hang out, I could easily tell you that there isn’t one person in particular, but that there are a ton of people that I admire and that, them, collective, would give me the inspiration and all skill sets. But to properly answer the question, I’d have to say one of the players in the Warriors basketball team. I know they just lost… but I would like to be with them to feel the energy of their team, witness the camaraderie they built together, and have that feeling that only winning a sports game can give you.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
As it is usual with those who have early starts that are difficult, it becomes easier to just put it in the past and never truly revisit it. That is what I did. I creative a narrative for my life that did not include my childhood. I did not want to be defined by it, nor ever be labeled a “victim.” But when my first son was born, I felt this strong desire to tell my story. I wanted him to know who I was, what I overcame, and that all we had in our life was a result of a lot of effort to bring us to the fortune we currently we enjoy. And that desire never let up. I just kept writing and writing. Years after, I took a writing class on a whim and for the first time I shared my story, with total strangers. Their reaction astounded me. They wanted to know more, felt inspired by it and asked me to tell the rest. That is when I realized that a story of a girl who grew up within a dysfunctional family in the jungles of Brazil was actually relatable to many people. I believe it was the first time I truly realized that there was a common humanity to us all.

What is your writing process? 
I don’t really have a set process. As I usually have my computer nearby, whenever I have a block of free time, I open it up and start writing. In fact, I am writing this interview under the canopy of a redwood tree while my son is getting ready for a baseball game. My process is simply finding – and capturing – time.

Tell us about your main character
Leaving Shangrila is a memoir, so naturally, I am the protagonist of the story. It is challenging to write about oneself in a way that does not feel self-serving, self-critical, or its flip side, self-aggrandizing. I took great care to write about me, and all others in my story in the context of the facts that occurred. I did not want to portray myself as a victim, which I could easily have done. Nor did I want to portray myself as a hero, as I suppose I could have given how I was able to overcome the adversity in my life. But neither of those would be true. I had plenty of flaws, and not all of those because of how I grew up. I believe I owned them in the book. I believe they made me who I was and informed the decisions I made.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I am not sure I am aware of the teenage actress within the age range for the story, but I would like it to be someone like Tora Birch (who is definitely an adult now and would not the person) when she played My Girl years ago. Mostly because she was so tenacious, and unafraid, even though she was still vulnerable and scared.
What are you working on next?

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Start early. I heard this advice myself, that is, to start promoting the book a year before it gets out. I did not pay heed at the time… so when I finally started focused on marketing, I felt completely overwhelmed. There were so many avenues, at all kinds of different price points, and I also have to say, a lot of predatory people who offered their services for thousands of dollars, without much of a guarantee of what would be the outcome. It is challenging to sift through all the information and make informed decisions that are right for your book. I enlisted friends who have published books as advisors, but also I relied heavily on the Book Acquisitions Editor because I felt that he was someone I could trust. So besides the starting early (a must), do find someone you can trust – and who is willing to help you – to sort through the maze.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
I suppose what seems to be everyone’s favorite: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I find the book extraordinary in how she developed the characters, told the story. It is the only book I can remember that made me cry. And I related to one of the sisters, Isabelle (not only because we share a name). She was so strong, so wanting to become bigger than everybody’s expectations of her. She wanted (and did) to make a difference. She took risks.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
It depends how you define that. I could brag about speaking multiple languages, or some prowess intellectually or professionally. But I don’t think at the end, life is about that. I just simply and actively try to be the best person I can be. I love deeply, I choose honesty, I persevere through adversity, I nurture my friendships and I try to help others. Is that special? I would hope not, because I wish all people lived like that.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
If I could have a superpower than I could impose on others, it would be to erase all lying from the world.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Travel in Iceland for at least a month
  • Complete the 10 day (or is it 11 day) hike around Mount Blanc through France, Switzerland and Italy with my family.
  • See my children achieve happiness in life, however they choose to get there.
  • Achieve professionally something makes a meaningful impact in the world. My job is important, Leaving Shangrila hopefully will inspire countless people. But I mean something larger, some that can tangible make the world a better place. I don’t know what the metric it is for that yet.
  • Retire at 55 (by retiring, I mean not needing to work, but choosing to work if I want to).

Where can readers find you on the web?
My website is

Any final thoughts?
If you read Leaving Shangrila and wonder what it is you can do, do the following:
1) Choose honestly, always. The only people who benefit from lies are no one.
2) When something seems amiss with others, just ask whether all is right in the world. Do something. And something other than think “that is none of my business.” Imagine the people you could help!

Provisionally Approved Episode 37 – Bogan Bachelor

This week some of us from Bogan Bachelor had the pleasure of being guests on Provisionally Approved, with host Maria Romas.

Some candid fun moments BTS, and more. Check it out peeps! 🙂

So many thanks to the crew of Provisionally Approved and RMITV.

Interview with… Gil Reavill


Interview With Gil Reavill. Author of 13 Stolen Girls.

Gil thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you –
I grew up in the Midwest and came out of daily journalism to get into non-fiction, screenwriting and now crime fiction. I was lucky to have a screenplay I co-wrote get produced and released by Sony, a corrupt cop drama called Dirty, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Clifton Collins, Jr. My latest crime novel, 13 Stolen Girls, is all enmeshed in the world of filmmaking. Hollywood has such heights and depths, that it’s the greatest, most surreal background for fiction ever.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
In the most reductive sense, a neurotransmitter called serotonin kicks in. That statement might be a little fatuous, but I’ve come around to a biologically determinate view of life. If Napoleon had a script for Prozac, he wouldn’t have invaded Russia. Our choices—should I get up or sleep in like a slug?—are influenced by forces beyond our control. A depressive might stay in bed all day. Is that a choice? Is he or she not “inspired” to get up? It’s just a question of the right level of brain salts, which is largely determined by genetics. No blame, no judgment. I know I look forward to sitting down in front of my computer with relish every day. I fucking leap out of bed. That’s just me. I work at home in a log cabin in the middle of the woods. No commute. I listen to the traffic reports with a sort of schadenfreude-style vicarious glee. How hard can it be to get up when I can look forward to that?

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
There’s this guy named C.A. Milson… He probably is too busy to bother with a nobody like me, so I’d choose Janet Malcolm. She has a fiery intelligence, and such a no bullshit approach to life that I’d like to hang out with her to see if it might be contagious. My wife and I are both writers, and in our household, Janet Malcolm is a verb. To get “Janet Malcolmed” means you have been revealed as the fraud that you are.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
In the early years of the millennium I worked for a lad mag called Maxim. I did a series of four-thousand word true crime articles for them. The publisher called them “gritty reads.” One piece I worked on was about John Edward Robinson, the Kansas serial killer. The case haunted me forever afterwards. 13 Stolen Girls was to some extent a purgative. It helped get the case down on paper and out of my nightmares.

Tell us your writing process. 
I write a lot in all sorts of styles. I do non-fiction, screenwriting, fiction, song lyrics, even a little drama. I usually have two or three projects going at once. Some time ago I stopped drinking and started writing. I figured that was a pretty good trade off. Usually I write with a set Mozart woodwind concerti going on. I work in four-hour blocks, one of them a day if I’m lucky, two if I am on fire, three if there’s a deadline hanging over my head. I try not to take my work too seriously. This Q&A will probably be late. I subscribe to the Douglas Adams view: “I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Do you have any tips you can share for authors who want to get the word out about their book?
13 Stolen Girls is an e-book. I’m not sure if anyone has really found the sweet spot in promoting e-books. Random House’s e-book imprint, Alibi, does a wonderful job. They are why I connected up with this blog. But digital publishing is so new that it’s still something of a shakedown cruise. It’s like mass market was in the early days of a half century ago, with Pocket Books and other pioneers. No one knew if pulp fiction was going to fly. But it eventually soared. I think digital is a natural home for genre writing. People who read mysteries and romances read a lot of them. I don’t even take my own advice about promoting. I know the old-time singer Sophie Tucker was an early genius at marketing herself. She was tireless. Whenever she hit a town for a concert, she’d collect names. She took down everyone’s addresses, the newspaper guys, the hotel clerk, the goddamned kid who delivered flowers to her room. Then when she was going to have another concert in that town, she’d send them all postcards. “Hey, I’m going to be singing nearby soon, stop by and we’ll have another great time just like we had before.” She used to say “Friendship is box office.” But that line comes with a caveat. I’d caution writers promoting their work not to mistake their friends for their audience. It’s a sad fact that a lot of times your pals won’t buy your book, even at the bargain basement e-book price of ninety-nine cents. You have a circle of personal friends, but when marketing your book what you are aiming for is a community of readers. That’s two different things. They might overlap, but often they do not. Another piece of advice for writers: be nice to C.A. Milson and do a Q&A for his blog! 🙂

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Early on. Sixth grade, I think. Poetry and song lyrics sucked me in. When I worked as a reporter, I became acquainted with writing as a less labored, cleaner, more uncluttered process. Do a story and move on to the next one. Don’t fuss, don’t look back. Later on, that helped me a lot with more creative work, like novelistic non-fiction and fiction.

Tell us about your main character:
All my characters are main! I remember a story about a screenwriter who went in to pitch a producer. He had like a dozen projects, he said. What’s your favorite? asked the producer. The screenwriter throws up his hands and said, They’re all my favorites! Layla Remington is my homegirl. I’ve gotten weary of detectives with substance abuse problems, with quirky psychological issues, or who are on the autistic spectrum in some way. I like the ideal of average. It’s probably a risky choice, but Layla doesn’t hit the bottle or put a spike in her veins, she doesn’t twitch or wash her hands obsessively. Those are my true heroes, the ones who simply put their heads down and do the work. I guess Layla resonates with people, since in her debut, 13 Hollywood Apes, she helped the book knock down a Thriller award nomination. Layla’s main defining feature is one of her environment. She’s a woman in a man’s world. I modeled her on a woman I met who for a long time was the only female homicide detective in the NYPD. The murder squad is still a masculine environment. It ain’t like it is in the movies.

What are you working on next?
I’m re-writing 13 Under the Wire, which is the third installment in the Layla Remington series. The plot takes us back in time to 2005, when Layla was a probie police officer just out of the academy. She has a ringside seat for a series of violent incidents in the family of a childhood friend. I’m really, really loving it. Layla always holds her card pretty close to her chest, but in Under the Wire she is intimately wrapped up with the victims in a way she hasn’t been in the first two books in the series. She’s in love, for one thing.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I smoke a mean brisket.

Who are your favorite authors?
Early on I became one of the many people whose life was twisted around by Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith, Chester Himes, Dashiell Hammett, Daphne du Maurier, Jim Thompson and James M. Cain.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Hike, canoe, read, see live music, but mostly just fool around in the long-running circus that is New York City.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
It looks like my writing partner and I have a screenplay going into production. I state that fact so confidently, but I know that in movie making you can’t believe anything until the lights in the theater go down and the images start to dance onscreen. This one gets at the truth of the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, which definitely did not happen according to the widely accepted storyline promoted by the government, the media and the history books.

Where can people find you on the web?
I have an author page on Good Reads, one on Amazon and a personal website.





Any final thoughts?
I actually collect actual final thoughts. “I’m going to the bathroom to read.”—Elvis. “This is no way to live!”—Groucho. “Codeine….Bourbon.”—Tallulah Bankhead. “Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.”—Pancho Villa. “Surprise me.”—Bob Hope, when asked by his wife where he would like to be buried. “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”—Stonewall Jackson. “Pity, pity, too late.”—Beethoven. “I’m losing it.” —Frank Sinatra. “No.” —Alexander Graham Bell. “Yeah.”—  John Lennon. “Drink to me.”—Picasso. “Say good-bye to Jack.”—Marilyn Monroe. “This is absurd.”—Freud.


Interview With …. Ben Matthews author of The Pursuit Of Justice

Today folks I am chatting with Ben Matthews. Author of The Pursuit Of Justice. Ben Matthews is a 58 year old life long resident of South Carolina.

Ben, thank for being here today. Tell our readers about you. 
I was born in Charleston and have lived most of the other years in the Pee Dee area not far from the Grand Strand which is the setting for The Pursuit of Justice. I am a husband, father of 2 children, stepfather of 3 children and am owned by approximately 3 cats. I have been practicing law for 31 years focusing on bankruptcy and personal injury. My wife suggested that I write a novel. She says I was complaining about the quality of the novels I was reading then. My first book was written in response to a perceived lack of useful books on the subject of blending families. I co-wrote Blended Family Bliss with David Kahn about 10 years ago and published that through a print on demand house.

Ben Matthews

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and family. All of the kids are gone (aged 22-29) but they are close. This week we’ve got all of them, a couple of son in laws, a boyfriend, and other family at the beach all week. And I enjoy helping people. As an attorney, people come to me with their problems and I am able to provide solutions for a lot of them.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
My first thought was Edgar Allen Poe. He’s always been my favorite writer and the Tell Tale Heart my favorite story. I wonder how his mind worked. If I had to choose someone alive, it would be either Chipper Jones or Hank Aaron. I am a huge Braves fan and would love to sit and listen to the stories they have. Wouldn’t a really good baseball book be fun to write?

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Ray Jackson is an attorney who is struggling to find himself. As soon as he finished law school, his sister went missing and his fruitless search for her threw his career off track. He worked with his mother(also a lawyer). When she became ill, Ray neglected the practice to take care of her and the book begins shortly after her death. Ray gets appointed to a murder case as part of agreement to resolve the ethical charges stemming from his neglect of his clients. Ray quickly discovers several holes in the prosecution’s case which has been investigated by the same police officer, now Captain, that failed to find Ray’s sister.

Ray also finds himself working with an ex girlfriend in a money laundering investigation. The money laundering investigation overlaps with the murder case taking Ray to a Casino Boat and ‘Gentlemen’s’ clubs where the murder victim used to work. It all becomes very personal for Ray when he discovers the truth about his sister as the murder case comes to trial.

The Pursuit of Justice

Tell us your writing process.
My writing process is really just constant rewriting. I have a general story in mind and I begin. I go as far as I can and then go back and fix what’s not working any more in the story line. And then repeat. I’ve found that it takes numerous rewrites to get things close. I usually write for an hour or so in the morning (I get up early) and then have an hour commute to think about it and record notes in my phone that I apply the next day. It is the thinking time that really helps me get the story right.

What has and has not worked for you that you can share with aspiring & upcoming authors?
I don’t take criticism well so I had a hard time working with family and friends on early versions. I discovered that the problem wasn’t with my story but rather with my skills. I needed to learn how to write a novel. I did what I usually do when face with questions, I did what I have always done: I bought a book about writing. I got 4 or 5 books and a workbook or two. Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook was very helpful. After that I started working with The Editorial Department. I found them to offer affordable services that took my skills a new level.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not at all sure that I want to be a full time writer. I enjoy writing. I like the response we’re getting to The Pursuit of Justice. But I would miss my legal practice. When I write, I shut everything out. Right now (which is part of writing) the house is waking, plans are being made for the day and I’m going to stop and join them. During a regular week, I see clients everyday, talk to colleagues, go to court. And I’ve gotten some great anecdotes from colleagues and listening in court that become part of my writing.

Tell us about your main character:
Ray Jackson is a thirtyish attorney who is somewhat lost. He’s gotten his first murder case and is fighting to save his practice. He’s not a super hero. Ray doesn’t do anything that you or I couldn’t do. He’s regular guy facing issues similar to the ones we all face. He’s got bills to pay, girl friends and ex girlfriends, and he has to deal with co-workers.

The justice he pursues is in the form of fairness and it’s not just in the courtroom. Life really hasn’t been very fair to Ray in some respects and he begins to come to terms with that.

What are you working on next?
I’ve started another legal mystery that I want to explore how we view life and death. South Carolina still has the death penalty but is staunchly anti abortion. Those seem to be contradictory to me.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I am extraordinarily average.

Who are your favorite authors?
Poe, James Clavell, Michael Connely, Erik Larson, James Hornfischer, Thomas Hardy’s poetry (not so much his novels), Lee Child, James Baldacci.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Read, write, See friends and family. Cook on the grill. Go to the beach. I don’t have a boat right now and really need one. Watch the Braves.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
It took 6 years to write The Pursuit of Justice. I’ll publish the next when it’s ready, whenever that is.

Where can people find you on the web?

Any final thoughts?
I have always been told (and you have too) to write about what you know. But really what we write about is people. We’ve also all heard that there are no new stories and I believe that’s true. But what I find interesting is how people (characters) respond to situations in these same old stories.

You wouldn’t read very far in my book, if you didn’t care about Ray Jackson and his predicament. What James Hornfischer and Erik Larson do so well in their nonfiction is show you the people. You see who they were and what they did. And I wonder, which is the point, what would I have done.

Interview With…. Russ Colchamiro, author of Genius De Milo

Genius De Milo banner

Today I am featuring author, Russ Colchamiro. Russ is the author of the rollicking space adventure Crossline, the hilarious scifi backpacking comedy Finders Keepers, and the outrageous sequel, Genius de Milo, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in West Orange, NJ, with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ is now at work on the final book in the Finders Keepers trilogy.

As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.

Russ Colchamiro

Russ, thanks for being here today. Please Tell our readers about you
From the outside looking in I’m a sci-fi comedy writer, married, with 4-year-old twins – my little ninjas – and a transplanted New Yorker now living in suburban New Jersey.

However … I know there have been rumors floating around that I may in fact be a fugitive from another dimension, with the intergalactic agency in charge of such matters hot on my trail, looking to drag me back to where I’ll face my day of reckoning.

I don’t like to engage in this kind of unsubstantiated gossip, so for now let’s just say that when I’m not writing my goofy books I’m a former journalist turned PR guy working in the commercial real estate industry, mostly in New York City. And I have a crazy dog, Simon.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock! 🙂 But seriously … I adore my kids – a boy and a girl. They keep me on my toes. And I’m always thinking about my next book, or finding the right way to tell the story I’m working on. I may be an addict! But if so … no rehab for me. I’m a lifer.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Albert Einstein. Beyond his obvious scientific brilliance, he had a wonderful sense of humor, and philosopher’s approach to life and the Universe. I’d love to know what he thinks about the modern world compared to what he thought it might be at this point.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
My debut novel Finders Keepers is a scifi backpacking comedy, loosely based on a series of backpacking trips I took through Europe and New Zealand, set against a quest for a jar that contains the Universe’s DNA.

My newest book, Genius de Milo, is the second book in the trilogy, where our bumbling backpacking heroes Jason Medley and Theo Barnes are once again tasked with retrieving a radioactive jar filled with the Universe’s DNA … before it wipes out the galaxy.

Genius de Milo (and Finders Keepers) is for fans of authors such as Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Christopher Moore, and movies and TV shows such as Harold & Kumar, Bill & Ted, Hot Tub Time Machine, Time Bandits, Quantum Leap, Groundhog Day, Northern Exposure, and Third Rock from the Sun.

And whereas Finders Keepers was set predominantly in Europe and New Zealand, the action in Genius de Milo has shifted mostly to the U.S. And, of course, there’s lots going on in Eternity, the ‘cosmic’ realm where the Universe is created.

So for Genius de Milo, think Midnight Run meets Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

As the second book in the series, I wrote Genius de Milo with the understanding that it needed to work on three levels:

  • as a satisfying, self-contained novel that new readers can enjoy even if they haven’t read Finders Keepers
  • as the second novel in the Finders Keepers trilogy that both continues and enhances the overall narrative and individual story arcs
  • structurally as a lead-in to the final, upcoming novel that will conclude the trilogy

Awesome. Tell us your writing process
I sit at my computer and type words. And then hope I put them in the right order. Before that happens, though, I talk the story out loud. I try to get inside the minds of each of the characters, and see where that takes me. The parts inevitably fall into place. And then about half way through the novel I realize I have this crazy adventure to figure out and I really have to focus!

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Mostly since I was a kid, but certainly by the time I was in high school. I loved English class because it gave me a chance to be a wise-ass and get approval both from my teachers and students. I’m not saying I was a great (or even good) writer back then, but I knew I was on to something.

Tell us about your main character:
A: There’s actually two. When we first meet Jason Medley and Theo Barnes in Finders Keepers, they’re both in their early 20s, with Jason from New York and Theo from New Zealand — from opposite corners of the world and with entirely different personalities. Jason is kind of a nervous Nellie, with no idea how to get himself from one place to the next. But Theo is more mellow, and an experienced traveler. They meet unexpectedly in Venice, and become fast friends.

Yet while still in New Zealand, Theo found a jar that causes these hallucinogenic side effects he can’t explain. (The jar contains the Universe’s DNA, but he only discovers that much later). In any case, it makes him feel like he’s winding through the fabric of the Universe, so he’s compelled to find answers, and finds his way to Europe.

Jason knows none of this when they first meet in Venice, but by the time their adventure is over, they’ve pretty much saved the Milky Way from disaster.

In Genius de Milo, which picks up a few years after that, the Universe is fluxing in and out of Existence, Theo’s twin three-year-old girls are teleporting, and Jason can’t tell which version of his life is real. That’s because Milo – the Universe’s gremlin — got his hands on that jar of DNA and is causing mayhem.

So now Jason and Theo are trekking across America to put things right, and keep Milo from destroying the planet. Along the way they are joined by Jamie — a hotel clerk from Eternity — who may or may not be on their side.

In Genius de Milo Theo is now a family, but he still has that travel bug in him. He almost always wishes he was still going on adventures across the globe, so he’s not as focused on the here and now as he should be. But because of that adventurer’s spirit — and the temperament to just kind of roll with the punches if those journeys don’t go according to plan — he’s able to keep them on track, even when he and Jason veer way off course. Which happens quite a lot!

Yet Jason is far more grounded, and in fact is about to propose to his girlfriend. He’s building a career as a journalist, and genuinely wants to help other people. But he still inherently seeks the approval of others, and has trouble trusting that he’s on the right path. What confuses him most — but may in fact be his greatest asset given the predicament they are in — is that despite his generally conservative nature he seems to be in tune with the shifts in the Universe.

What I mean is that he’s really quite intuitive about the sense that things aren’t ‘quite right’, and even though he’s not sure what that means, and that nobody other than Theo could possibly understand him, he’s learning to trust those instincts more, and make decisions accordingly. And sometimes that means sacrificing what he wants for what others need.

What are you working on next?
The final book in the Finders Keepers trilogy. My plan is to have it ready for fall 2016.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
It turns out that I had Lyme Disease, likely for at least 25 years. Whereas with most people they get some sort of debilitating joint pain, I had what was the equivalent of chronic fatigue syndrome. I was always exhausted. And yet I lived with it for so long that I powered through anyway. Nobody believes me when I tell them about my symptoms. Despite my exhaustion I was still plugging away from 5 am til midnight almost every night. So I guess I just have a stubborn will to ignore my own fatigue. I was diagnosed with Lyme January 2014 and was on antibiotics and supplements for a year. I seem to be symptom free. It’s a strange experience. But so far so good.

Who are your favorite authors?
Christopher Moore, Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Palahniuk, David McCullough

What do you like to do with your free time?
Free time? What’s that?! But when I get a rare minute … sleep, take naps, and rest. In that order. Otherwise, travel, read, watch TV, movies, be with my wife and kids. And I’m a baseball junkie.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
After I finish off the Finders Keepers trilogy, I have an idea for a baseball-themed sci-fi novel, a children’s book series, a Finders Keepers spin-off series, and something else that I can’t talk about just yet. In between I’ll be contributing to a Crazy 8 Press alternate-reality anthology called Pangaea, which we funded through Kickstarter. It’s due out fall 2015.

Any final thoughts?
Shameless plug! Buy my books! :p

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About the Book

Genius De Milo 2

Title: Genius De Milo
Author: Russ Colchamiro
Publisher: Crazy 8 Press
Pages: 320
Genre: SciFi/Comedy
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Best pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes barely survived a backpacking trip through Europe and New Zealand that — thanks to a jar of Cosmic Building Material they found — almost wiped out the galaxy. But just as they envision a future without any more cosmic lunacy:

The Earth has started fluxing in and out of existence, Theo’s twin girls are teleporting, and Jason can’t tell which version of his life is real.

All because of Milo, the Universe’s ultimate gremlin.

Joined by the mysterious Jamie — a down-and-out hotel clerk from Eternity — Jason and Theo reunite on a frantic, cross-country chase across America, praying they can retrieve that jar, circumvent Milo, and save the Earth from irrevocable disaster.

In author Russ Colchamiro’s uproarious sequel to Finders Keepers, he finally confirms what we’ve long suspected — that there’s no galactic Milo quite like a Genius de Milo.

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Book Excerpt

Jason’s smile dropped away, replaced with a silent, open-mouthed slug of resignation, that whatever was happening was authentic, and unfolding in real time.

In a shared-brain moment Jason and Theo slowly panned in Jamie’s direction until finally she felt their accusatorial eyes lock on her. And though neither of them spoke, the imputation of blame came through with perfect enunciation: What did you do? What’s coming?

But what could she say? Which cluster of words could encapsulate both the scope and nuance of their predicament? Jamie could offer a pretty good guess as to why their immediate surroundings morphed before their very eyes—it had to be Brigsby-related, didn’t it?—but when it came to the what, she was equally mystified.

So all she could do was stand there. She blinked a few times. Then a few times more. The night went bracingly still, as if every fractal of sound had been drained from the Universe. The three of them held in place, petrified, as if the incredible forces converging upon them were seemingly just to be unleashed. Which, of course, they were.


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