Writers are a prolific group! In this new segment, you will find UPDATED information from authors who have previously appeared on the Meet & Greet. They would like to share new, current, and/or modified information.
Any authors who would like to “update” their information/re-do their interview/post about their NEW work – please contact me at email@example.com (and put UPDATE in the subject line). THANKS!
I will post their new information for a while (time frame to be determined), and then attach it to their initial Meet & Greet Interview (by last name) with the date.
Updates from Brian Finney (5/10/21)
Your Name: Brian Finney
Genre(s) of your work: Psychological suspense novel
Titles/Year of Published Work(s):
Dangerous Conjectures, March 25, 2021
Brian Finney is a writer and Professor Emeritus of Literature at California State University, Long Beach. Educated in England, he taught and organized extra-mural courses for the University of London. Since immigrating to the US in 1987 he has taught at UC Riverside, USC, UCLA, and California State University, Long Beach.
He has published eight books, including Christopher Isherwood: A Critical Biography (1979) which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Terrorized: How the War on Terror Affected American Culture and Society (KDP 2011/2018), Money Matters: A Novel (2019), a Finalist in the American Fiction Awards, and Dangerous Conjectures (2021).
He is married and lives in Venice, California.
Why do you write in the genre that you do?
Both this novel and my previous one (Money Matters) are actually a mix of genres. Both connect a personal narrative to a specific political background – the mid-term election of 2010 in the first novel and the 2020 primaries in this novel. In each case the major character is affected by political events. This reflects my belief that all of us are impacted in a variety of ways by what is going on at the national level. So in Dangerous Conjectures the government’s refusal to take the spread of Covid-19 seriously leads Julia, one of the two major characters, to resort to increasingly dangerous personal choices in her attempt to allay her fear of dying from the virus. Meantime Adam, her husband, is investigating the QAnon conspiracy which has secret ties to the White House.
How has writing changed/altered your life?
I have taught literature for most of my adult life – here and in London. It was only after I retired that I took to writing fiction, a genre I’d discussed and analyzed all those years. It proved surprisingly liberating. It also gave me an insight into what factors lead a novelist to write what he or she does, how the fictional world takes on a reality that demands that its creator stay within its boundaries. This is something I paid much less attention to as a literature professor. In particular I found that I loved writing dialogue where what one person says seamlessly calls up a response that itself stimulates a specific kind of reply– and so on. It makes me wonder whether I shouldn’t try writing a play or screenplay which is largely dialogue.
Who are your favorite authors and why?
I have always been drawn to writers who use inventive language to offer a unique take on life. A lot of authors qualify. But my favorites are D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Wool, William Faulkner, Christopher Isherwood, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Saul Bellow, Haruki Murakami, Salman Rushdie, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, and David Mitchell. Some of these writers have diminished as they grew older, but all of them understand the importance of voice and tone. A sentence and a paragraph should possess a rhythm and flow, something I try to imitate from their example.
Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?
I like audiobooks and have published an audio version of each of my novels. Of course you need a narrator who can interpret the different voices and moods. I was happy to find in Almond Eastland such an expert reader, and she has brilliantly narrated both my novels. The demand for audiobooks in the US has increased and now represents over eight percent of book sales. In an age of TV and YouTube many Americans find the act of reading tougher than that of listening.
What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?
Print sales of books in 2020 have increased eight percent over 2019. The real competitor to independent bookstores since the outbreak of the pandemic has been online bookstores, especially Amazon. Independent bookstores last year responded by competing with their own online sales and offering curbside sales. With the end of lockdown in sight local bookstores are optimistic, looking forward to restarting author readings, which have been a major source of income for them in the past. Unfortunately my book is coming out before an author’s reading was feasible. That’s too bad. But I think the indie bookstores will largely survive.
Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?
This is a tough question. In general I believe that no books should be banned unless they overtly promote illegal activities such as pedophilia. If you look at US prisons all kinds of books are banned for bizarre and inconsistent reasons. For example the state of Texas has banned from its prisons over 10,000 books, including Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (which I regularly taught at my university). What this means is that I have to accept the right of individuals to publish online, especially on social media, opinions and false facts that I believe are harmful to us as a society, that can even lead to acts of insurrection like that on January 6. As John Milton argued almost 400 years ago, “What wisdom can there be to choose . . . without the knowledge of evil?”
Where can people find you and your work?
I have an extensive website where all my positions and publications are listed and described, with links to where my books (including Dangerous Conjectures) can be bought: www.bhfinney.com Please look it up.
Updates from Beth Hildenbrand (3/7/21)
Name- Beth Hildenbrand
Genre- Horror/Dark Fantasy and Poetry
Titles- Cain Heretic Son 2019
The Path of Temptation 2021
Beth lives in Ephrata,Pennsylvania with her family. She is the mother of five sons. She has four grandchildren. Beth enjoys concerts, heavy metal music, and reading books by her fellow Indie Authors.
Why do you write in the Genre you do?
I’m a dark soul. I’ve loved classic horror and fantasy since I was a little girl in pig tales. My first comic book was Vampires. My favorite movies were anything with Vincent Price.
How has writing altered your life?
It’s made me realize I can accomplish anything. It has brought me a wonderful extended family in the Indie community. I have even started a group for women. The Phoenix Sisterhood. It is amazing. Women reaching out to each other and raising their Sisters up. It’s very interactive. Women bonding and forming friendships.
Who are your favorite Authors, why?
Right now I’m only reading Indie Authors. I love stories. Indie Authors are amazing storytellers. Terry McRae, JA Stone, Marcee Corn…I could go on and on.
Do you believe audiobooks are the way of the future, more of a passing fad?
Personally I love a book in my hand. I have a Kindle and I read ebooks. I’m all for any form of reading. With today’s busy world I can see why alot of people are turning to ebooks.
What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?
Anything that gets a book in someone’s hand. I know alot of people would argue with me. I would love to see them start carrying Indie Authors. Readers who buy mainstream are missing out on alot of talented writers.
What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one.
Social media seems to be the way to go. There are so many platforms and you can reach a multitude of people. So far I haven’t found a bad one.
Do you believe writing should be censored-that some topics should be taboo?
Absolutely not! Everyone should be allowed to create. I want to know what other writers think and feel. No one should be silenced. If I dont care for their work I still applaud their vision.
Where can people find your work?
My new book of poetry is available on Amazon. My novel Cain Heretic Son will soon be re released by Rushmore and available in stores and online.I do have a website on wordpress, Beth’s Heretic Pages.
On Facebook Beth Hildenbrand. Amazon link below.