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The Open Book

Filtering by Tag: writing

Shane Lindemoen, author of "Breathless"

Stephen H. Provost

Shane Lindemoen works as a private investigator. But now it's our turn to investigate approach to writing and his science fiction-horror release, Breathless.


Name, age and occupation: Shane Lindemoen, 34, private investigator.

Where and with whom do you live? I live in the Midwest with my wife and son and our cat.

If you could co-write a book with any author, living or dead, whom would you choose? Living: first name that popped into my head was Autumn Christian, because I just recently discovered her stuff and it’s achingly phenomenal and weird. But there are so many to list. Dead: Ursala K Leguin, because she was an absolute titan.

Why do you write? I write to share a million ideas and a thousand dreams with people for the purpose of collectively examining questions about the human condition. And it’s great fun, too.

What imaginary land would you choose as your home, and why? Neverland. Endless adventure. You never age. Mermaids, magic, pixies, pirates and unassisted flight. When I die, that’s where I’d like to go.

What fairy tale describes your life, and why? Little Red Riding Hood, but instead of the woodsman, I cut myself out of that wolf’s stomach. I crawled out of it and met my wife, and we lived happily ever after.

Historical period you’d like to visit: All periods seem pretty dark and terrifying. If the optimist’s future counts – the future of progress, the future of Star Trek – that’s where I’d like to go. Forward. Always forward.

Shane Lindemoen has a knack for the spectacular, and his deftly plotted debut is like Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles run through the sieve of Kubrick’s 2001, reshot by Christopher Nolan in the year 2020.
— Davis Schneiderman, author of Drain and the DEAD/BOOKS trilogy


Title, genre and length? BREATHLESS. Sci-fi-horror. 145K words.

When and where does it take place? Sometime in the near future, after humanity has created near-sentient artificial intelligence and achieved life in space, but before interstellar travel. The story itself takes place in deep space, near the planet Saturn.

How did you come up with the title? An acquaintance named Miguel Santana da Silva actually suggested the title. I loved how it sounded and it’s relevant, so it stuck.

What inspired you to write it? Two of my favorite movies are Aliens and Predator. I just love the sci-fi-horror genre, and I always wanted to try my hand in it. So this is my Aliens, my Predator: an homage to that particular blend of genres. Which mainly sprouted out of this idea of vertigo – this conflict we all have within ourselves between the fear of falling and the desire to fall. So that concept in addition to a bunch of other concepts just sort of came together.

Is there a sequel in the works? No sequel for now. At one point I actually signed a contract with a publisher for this yarn, and because I wasn’t comfortable turning it into a series, the contract was ultimately made solvent, which was devastating. That’s primarily why I’m doing this Inkshares thing.          

Where, how can you get it? The complete first chapter is available to read for free on Inkshares. If the project reaches a critical mass of followers, I’d open it up for preorders. If it gets seven-hundred preorders, Inkshares or one of its imprints will offer a publishing deal. There’s also another independent publisher reviewing it now, so we’ll see. It could eventually be everywhere, or it could be nowhere forever. Fingers crossed.

Describe your book in one word that most people don’t normally use. Eigengrau. 

What would you select as your book’s theme song? Who would you choose to write the musical score? A Blessing, by Max Richter.

What’s your most interesting chapter title? Eigengrau.

Who would want to ban it? That’s a good question. It’s not political or religious in any way, so I have no idea. I suppose the Old Gods, because this yarn will surely disturb their eonic slumber. 

To whom did you dedicate it and why? I will dedicate it to my wife and boy, for making me feel important and relevant. 

Insanely imaginative and thought-provoking. Artifact delivers a mind-bending high, in which nothing is what it seems and everything is exactly what it appears to be.
— Mark Budz, author of Clade, Idolon and Till Human Voices Wake Us, on Lindemoen's 2013 release, Artifact


Name, age and occupation: Evelyn Fenroe, who goes from twenty-seven to forty-years-old over the course of the story. She is an astronaut, and a commanding officer within the agency that employs her.

Where and with whom does she live? She lives in the vacuum of space – in constant transit between Earth and Saturn aboard an artificially intelligent ship, with her eight crew members.

Who would play your protagonist in a movie? Hillary Swank or Mireille Enos.

What real-life person would be your protagonist’s hero, mentor or role model? Neil Armstrong. Valentina Tereshkova.

What’s her celebrity crush? She’s pop-culture illiterate; a career astronaut who never had time to crush on celebrities.

What’s her biggest fear/phobia? Losing a single member of her crew, because she loves them all with every piece of her heart.

On what TV show would she appear as a special guest? All of them, for being the first woman to set foot on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. She’d be in the history books, and everyone would want to hear her story.

What’s his/her favorite quote or motto? “Was it so hard, Achilles, so very hard to die? Thou knowest, and I know not; so much the happier am I.”  - Patrick Shaw-Stewart

Weapon of choice: an industrial plasma-cutter, used for welding rivets on the hull of her ship. Can also cut through all manner of bone and soft-tissue. . . very useful in deep space.

At the beginning of the book, our hero is … running for her life.

Worst habit? Making herself responsible for all the bad things that happen in her life.

Best feature? Her iron will.

Always one step ahead of the reader, Lindemoen never loses control of this tight, action-filled plot. It’ll leave you guessing, and wondering what you’ve just witnessed. You’ll be blown away, too.
— David Wellington, author of Chimera, on Artifact

Anne R. Allen, author of "So Much for Buckingham"

Stephen H. Provost

Anne R. Allen is a prolific writer, so identifying her as the author of So Much for Buckingham by no means encompasses her identity as an author. That just happens to be the work she's discussing here. In all, she's written or is writing a dozen books, produces one of the most helpful blogs on writing you'll find, writes short fiction and conducts writing workshops. She's also been an actress, bookseller and playhouse artistic director. 

So Much for Buckingham, published in January 2016, is Volume 5 in the Camilla Randall Mysteries series. As described on Amazon, it's a "comic novel ... (that) explores how easy it is to perpetrate a character assassination whether by a great playwright or a gang of online trolls."

The Author

Name, age and occupation: Anne R. Allen. I'm the author of 10 books (Two more coming up in 2017) and I'm an award-winning blogger. I'm old. As in Boomer. I remember the Edsel, the Kennedy assassination, and Woodstock.

Where and with whom do you live? I live in a little cottage by the sea in Los Osos (California) with a whole lot of people who are almost entirely fictional.

If you could co-write a book with any author, living or dead, whom would you choose? I would choose to write with Cambria's brilliant superstar author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of the book that made Pay it Forward a household phrase (as well as over 30+ other bestselling books.) And guess what? I actually got to do it. Catherine and I co-wrote a guidebook for authors, How to Be a Writer in the E-Age: A Self Help Guide.

Why do you write? Because the stories are there and they have to come out. They always have been. I've written fiction since I could hold a crayon.

Where do you write? I have the perfect writer's study, in the back of a little house at the end of a dead-end street, in a quiet room with lots of light and a view of trees and sky where I can hear waves on a windy day. The perfect writer's retreat.

What imaginary land would you like to visit? Narnia. Definitely Narnia. Animals that talk would be great to hang out with. 

What animal, real or imaginary, would you choose as your constant companion? I have a fictional cat, which I have given to my heroine, Camilla. I always used to have cats, but I developed COPD and allergies, and after my last cat, Chuck, died, my docs nixed a new one. So now I have Buckingham, who looks like Chuck, but isn't real, so he's cheaper to feed.

What do you collect? Mistakes. I always say that on the blog. I'm old enough to have collected a pretty full set of mistakes. So I figure other writers can learn from them.

Historical period you'd like to visit: The 1920s. I love to read anything set in the 1920s. The Australian TV series The Miss Fisher Mysteries is one of my favorite escapes.

Serious comedy ... written without a trace of sentimentality and an underlying tough realism that belies the wonderfully over-the-top nature of some of the characters — the humour in this is necessarily dark — but there’s any number of laugh out loudlines in it.”
— Lucinda Elliot at Sophie De Courcy

The Book

Genre and length: My novels are dark satiric mysteries. My publisher calls them "chick lit noir." They run about 75,000 words, standard mystery length. So Much for Buckingham is No. 5 in the Camilla Randall Mysteries series.

When and where does it take place? The setting of So Much for Buckingham alternates between the Central Coast of California and the fictional town of Swynsby-on-Trent in the English Midlands. Swynsby is the home of my heroine's publisher, Sherwood, Ltd. as well as a famous medieval manor house that Richard III often visited. Swynsby is the fictional name I've given to Gainsborough, a lovely market town in Lincolnshire, home of my first publisher, Babash-Ryan, who published my first two mysteries, Food of Love and The Best Revenge.

How did you come up with the title? "Off with his head! So much for Buckingham" is a famous line from Richard III that Shakespeare didn't actually write. It was added by a 19th century actor named Colley Sibber. The novel is about how repeated lies can often become more acceptable than truth, whether perpetrated by a great playwright or a gang of online trolls.

What inspired you to write it? As a well-known blogger and small-press author, I have had to deal with Amazon review vigilantes and social media trolls. I've had rape and death threats and went through nearly a year of harassment. So I decided to explore the problem from both sides — both from the POV of an author who is punished by vigilantes for breaking rules she didn't know existed and from the POV of her boyfriend, a music reviewer whose career is destroyed after he gives a bad review to a vindictive band.

Is there a sequel in the works? The next book in the series, The Queen of Staves, The Camilla Randall Mysteries #6, is due in July.  

Where, how can you get it? So Much for Buckingham is available locally at Coalesce in Morro Bay and Volumes of Pleasure in Los Osos. Online it's available in ebook at Amazon, Kobo , Nook, iTunes, Google Play and Scribd. In paper, it's available at Amazon and B&N and Walmart.

What would you select as your book's theme song? I'd love to have something played on a zither. Like the theme from the film, The Third Man. When I lived in Gainsborough, an ice cream truck came around on Saturdays that played the theme from The Third Man instead of ringing a bell. The tune was tinkle-y and bouncy … but the undertones were dark and ominous because of the film. Perfect for "chick lit noir."

What's your most interesting chapter title? Maybe "The Kingdom of Perpetual Night." (All the chapter titles come from Shakespeare's Richard III.)

Who would want to ban it? The pro-Tudor people who believe Richard III really did kill the princes in the tower.

Delicious wit, wonderful eccentric characters, and a beguiling plot. Camilla Randall is a delight!
— Melodie Campbell, "Canada's Queen of Comedy."

The Hero

Name, age and occupation: My sleuth, Camilla Randall, is "pushing forty so hard it screams." She's a formerly wealthy socialite and etiquette columnist — now the impoverished owner of a permanently failing Morro Bay bookstore.

Where and with whom does she live? She lives in a biodegrading former motel cottage in Morro Bay with a tuxedo cat named Buckingham who doesn't like her very much. Her best friend, gay screenwriter Plantagenet Smith, doesn't live with her, but he's the only constant in her life, since she's a magnet for "Mr. Wrong." Plant has recently married wealthy businessman Silas Ryder, but his marriage may be on the rocks.

Who would play your protagonist in a movie? Maybe Gwyneth Paltrow. I originally envisioned her as Bess Armstrong, the actress best known as the mom in My So-Called Life, who happens to be my cousin. 

Who's her celebrity crush? Maybe Jon Bon Jovi. She has a thing for working class guys from New Jersey.

What's her biggest fear/phobia? Of being impolite.

On what TV show would she appear as a special guest? When she was a young debutante, in the prequel to the series The Best Revenge she appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I can't say why, though. Spoilers.

What's her favorite quote or motto? "Most people have an inner child. I have an inner great aunt."

Weapon of choice: A well-placed stiletto heel, either thrown, brought down on the back of the head or aimed at the villain's eyeball. A spritz of hairspray to the face works, too.

Worst habit: She accepts everybody as they present themselves and is easily misguided in her eagerness to be fair.

Best feature: Camilla treats everybody with equal kindness and good manners.

Anne Allen had me laughing unexpectedly and sometimes out loud with her wonderful crafting of her words into sentences that became alive and three dimensional throughout these stories.
— JohnWilliamson at Goodreads