Mittwoch, 26. April 2017

Hey there,
it's been a long time. But, after a long time of sickness, I am back :).

Stay tuned for a new interiew next week.

Best, Key ;)

Sonntag, 25. Dezember 2016

Merry Christmas, folks!

Hey guys!

We wish you a merry, happy Christmas. Stay healthy, kind and loving, and enjoy the holidays.

Key :*

Sonntag, 13. November 2016

The Way to the Book

Hello, friends!

Since Key is very busy these days, I'll be doing another info post today. I thought that, since we're all talking about books and fictional adventures, we should take a minute to step back in time.
It all started in the 3rd millenium BC. Back then, people wrote on clay tablets. That was before the ancient Egyptians produced something called "Papyrus". It is the closest thing to what we know as paper, today, King Neferirkare Kakai from the Fifth Dynasty (2400 BC) first used it for his messeges. The production of the "Papyrus" included many steps:
First, the marrow was extracted from the stems, and then the raw material was humidified, pressed, dried, glued and cut. Bird feathers were used for writing. This tradition continued to exists till the late 18th century. It is remarkable to say that the first books appeared during the reign of Ramses III. They just looked different from what we'd define as books nowadays. Writers pasted several sheets together, and the result looked like a roll of 10 meters.

Later, Eumenes II, the King of Pergamon, invented the parchment, and his invention replaced the innovative Papyrus. That was around the 3rd century BC. Parchment was made out of animal skin, and, therefore, it was easier to conserve over time. Around the 6th and 5th century BC, people in Geece and Rome started using the "scroll", which counts as an early version of the book. 

Note that books only started to speard because of Aristotle. During the Hellenistic period, people started building libraries. Aristotle's desire for knowledge became exemplary, and everybody wanted to share their thoughts and learn from history and from the greatest thinkers. Some of these libraries were: 
The Library of Alexandria
The Library at Pergamon
The Library at Rhodes
The Library at Antioch

The production of books developed in Rome (1st century BC). Latin literature was largely influenced by the Greek

Paper first appeared in China (105 AD). Cai Lun, an official, used mulberry to produce the "new parchment". After many years of experimental usage (e.g. for the preservation of tea), people eventually started writing on Lun's creation. 

Between the 2nd and the 4th century, the scroll was replaced by the codex, and the sheets were no longer just rolled up; they were pinned to each other. After many years of handcopying, Gutenberg eventually invented a new system that allowed printing (1414). Ever since, literature and knowledge were more accessible among people. 

So, you see that it took humanity many years to be able to talk of "books". Books manifest knowledge and bring the light into the world.



Montag, 31. Oktober 2016

Interview with Amber Schunk-Clubb

Good night, my fellows. Happy Halloween!
What would be better than a good vampire story along the way?
Yeah, right-- meeting one :D
Tonight, I have something special for you. To complete the vampire interview series for this year's occasion, I met an author who knows how to write a suspenseful fanatsy novel. Please welcome Amber Schunk-Clubb.
Good afternoon, Amber. Nice to have you for a chat. Please, introduce yourself to the readers. 

Hello. My name is Amber Schunk-Clubb, author of “Roliath: The Eidelon Series”. (Which will be a 5 book series)  I’ve actually been working on this series off and on for 11 years and finally over the past 2 years I’ve been able to fully devote myself to my writing.  Ever since I received my first assignment to write a simple poem for a mothers day card in art class at school…I fell in love with writing.  It has followed with me ever since and even going into high school I took specialty writing courses to help further me along.  “Roliath” actually started out as an 8 page, hand written short story for a class assignment.  Which was called “Survival” not Roliath…it was also just another typical vampire story, and it remained that way for a few more years, lol.  But, as life tends to be busy, after graduating high school I rarely had any free time to write, but still did whenever and where ever I found I time.  Between living life, working, which often was 2 jobs at the same time, I slowly thought of and developed the world of Eidelon…the characters, the timelines/storylines for all 5 books, I’ve been creating all of it…I’ve just never had the time to sit down and write all of it.  However, everything always seems to find a way J When I first met and started to date who is now my husband, Roliath wasn’t finished and I only had maybe ten pages into the second book.  After our first year in marriage he provided me with the opportunity to leave my job so that I can have the time to devote myself to my writing. (Because he is super awesome J ) Since then, not only have I finished “Roliath”, but it is now published and available online.  I’m also just about to finish my first draft for the second book in the series (Secrets Unveiled) and nearly half way finished with book 3.

What kinds of books fascinated you as a child?

Well, I grew up in the early-mid 80’s-90’s and shared a love for all of the spooky/horror movies, tv shows and books with my mom. Stephen King was always a favourite for all three of those areas. The Stand, The Shinning, Misery, Cujo, Carrie…just a few of the many that are still on my bookshelf today from back then.  Of course as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown an extremely wide range as far as what type of books fascinate me.

How many books have you published? 

Only one…so far…

Your recent novel, “Roliath”, is about Vampires. What makes it different from other Vampire stories on the market?

Yes, the entire series is actually about vampires…however it is not just another typical vampire story. Vampires (Eidelon) are not even allowed to kill humans, the series does not revolve around them being monsters who kill, or how they can or should be killed.  It brings to light a much more plausible idea/view on vampires and I’ve been told that the readers almost forget at times that they are supposed to be a “vampire” and just get lost in the storylines and events of everything.  It covers such a wide range in genre from paranormal and fantasy to slight romance and action and adventure.  Just because you hear the word “vampires” doesn’t mean it’s going to be another typical story because… “Real vampires may not be what you thought”

Who is your favourite character in your novel?

I don’t know why, but picking a favourite for anything…has always been a challenge for me, even for bands, books and shows ;) The main character, Geann, would probably have to be at the top though.  All of her talents and abilities, including those in battle…are pretty awesome. But, on the other hand…as odd as this may seem, Sheriff Dewit was one of my favourites to actually write.  I don’t want to give spoilers for those of you who have not read it, but, the variances in his character was fun to bring to life on the page.

If you had the choice between having your novel adapted into a TV show or into a movie, what would you choose and why.

Either choice would be amazing, but, I guess I would say possibly a TV show.  Simply because it would give the chance to have the full story and the characters in it come to life on the screen.  Not only that, but, there are many areas in the books that are left open to be expanded upon in more creative detail.  I know a movie series could do the same, but I just think about how often a lot of things are left out when a book is turned into a movie.

Did you have special actors in mind when you created your characters?

I’ve always tried to write so the reader can have an easy time playing everything in their head like a movie as they read.  So, this is something I’ve often thought about over the years.  I have several ideas for many characters, but these are who stick out the most to me and whom I tend to picture when I write.

Andrea - Ali Larter From House on Haunted Hill

Dillon- Dave Franco from Now You See Me
Trevor- Scott Eastwood from The Longest Ride
Kenneth- Luke Evans from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Georgianna - Famke Janssen from X-men

Patrick- Jake Busey from Starship Troopers
Geannifer and Devon I’ve always had a hard time picturing whom I would cast for them.  I’ve debated on a few for both, but recently my husband got me to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I might have found a possibility for one of them, lol.
Devon - Brett Dalton from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Who is scarier: Frankenstein or Dracula?
Hmmm, I think I might have to go with Dracula.  Both of them can be scary, but, Dracula can sneak up on you and attack unseen in ways that Frankenstein can not…at least in my opinion anyway.
What are your future projects?
Well, for now I’m just going to continue with The Eidelon Series.  As I’ve already mentioned, it is a 5 book Series…and I have 11 years worth of ideas and completed storylines that have been built up waiting to be written…And now I finally have the time to write them.
Do you have a message for your readers?
First I’d simply like to say “Thank you!” In a sense, without you I wouldn’t have a very easy time to move forward with the series.  I love hearing from you as well.  Feel free to continue reaching out to me with questions, comments, whatever…you’ll always get a response.  The Eidelon Series website will be posting information soon about another give-away and a little something for artists to participate in as well.  If you’re not signed up and want to keep yourself updated, you can do so here  Fill out the contact form and be sure to check the box that reads "Check here to receive email updates."
Thank you, Amber. We will all make sure to check out you novel ;)
To learn more about the author, please visit: Goodreads- Amber

     (Interview compiled by H. El-Tahwagi)       

Samstag, 29. Oktober 2016

Trick or Treat!!!!

Trick or Treat! -- It's the same, each year! Kids stroll from house to house, waiting for you to hand over the candy. To avoid the havoc, you routinely meet their request. Some of us, the grown up adults, also like to celebrate the spooky night. But instead of collecting candy, we enjoy the night with family and friends. Either there is a fantastic party around the corner, or we meet in front of the TV to watch some creepy horror movies; and, of course, not without our creative costumes. It's great, right? Of course, it is! But, did you ever wonder what all of this is actually about? Why do we celebrate the dead each year?

Let me tell you...

Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve, has Celtic, as well as Christian roots. Some 2.000 years ago, the Celtic believed that October 31st marked the end of harvest season. Back then, they celebrated that day and called it Samhain. They also believed that the barrier between the living and the dead would be weakened that night. To protect themselves and their crops from evil, they wore costumes. By pretending to be no human beings, they thought they'd be able to fool the demons. 
Around 609 AD, Christians celebrated their dead on All Saints Day. It actually began on May 13. The date was changed to Nov. 1, in 800 AD.

It is important to note that Allhallowtide became a three-day event in the Middle Ages (1556). During that time, criers dressed in black to mourn the departed. Treats, called soul cakes, were given out in return for prayers. This practice was called "souling". Only at the very beginning of the 18th century did Samhain start to transform into the modern festivity we know. Poeple in costumes started to go from door to door to collect food in exchange for prayers. When they got disappointed, they played pranks to imitate the evil spirits. 

Halloween reached the U.S at the beginning of the 19th century. Irish and Scottish immigrants shared their tradition, and  it became more than popular all around the continent. 


Fascinating how old that tradition is, isn't it?

Have a spooky time ;)

Key (Picture compilement) and H. El-Tahwagi (Research and content) 

Sonntag, 23. Oktober 2016

So... Since Halloween is just around the corner, I'll be doing a short info post about the spooky feast. Don't forget to drop by to stay informed. As announced some time ago, there's also a vampy interview coming up. Stay cheerful ;)

Interview with Kerry McAvoy

Hey, folks! Happy to be back!
Today, I have a special guest with a tragic story. Kerry McAvoy is a psychologist and, most importantly, a human being like everybody else. She knows what it means to love, and also how difficult it is to lose the dearest person you know. Such experiences can have very intense impacts on us. With the loss of what's important to you, you often change or start to think about life and the life in the hereafter. Your beliefs and your knowledge can help you cope with the dark moments that you face. 
My guest will tell us about the book she wrote about the most difficult time in her life. I am glad to introduce Kerry McAvoy.

Hi Kerry. Very nice to have you here. Please, introduce yourself to the readers.

As a psychologist with over twenty-five years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families, I have treated all kinds of issues---depression, anxiety, work difficulties, and relationship problems. I started writing ten years ago and fell in love with the use of the written word as a vehicle to address psychological issues. I have self-published three devotionals from an integrated Christian and psychological perspective.

Until about two years ago I had a rather ordinary life. I was a busy mom, managing a career, and running a household. That all came to a dramatic halt when my husband developed what appeared to be an innocuous health symptom early December 2014 only to learn two days after Christmas the devastating news that he had terminal cancer. My life made a sharp turn as I became his sole care provider until his death five and a half months later.

In short period of time I not only lost my husband, I also retired my counseling practice and my last child left home for college. In many ways I was given a clean slate. I know the idea of getting a do-over in life sounds romantic, but I discovered such massive upheaval isn't exciting; these changes were unwanted and very painful. 

 What inspired you to write novels?

Actually, my love to write has been a surprise. After completing a 120-page doctoral dissertation, I figured I wouldn't have enough to say to fill a book. I was one of those students who had trouble completing the assigned college paper to its required length. If it was supposed to be five pages long, I was lucky if I could find a sentence or two to spill over onto the final page. However, I love to play around with ideas and often construct speeches in my head while exercising or working around the house.

One morning, I woke up with a book outline and an imperative to write. So I did! Now I am working on my fourth manuscript. If you would have told me in the beginning of my career that one day I would be an author, I would have laughed.

You are a psychologist. Did that influence your writing? In how far?

My role as a psychologist has had a strong influence on my writing. I think one must be called to have a career as a psychologist since it requires such a unique skill set. By nature I'm very self-reflective with innate intuition. My education and clinical experiences have trained me to be an observer.

All of this shapes the way I view myself, my relationships with others, and the world at large. It, of course, also affects my writing. If I were to write fiction instead of nonfiction, I think I would still utilize the same psychological insights as I do now.

 In 2015, you experienced a great loss. Your husband died of terminal cancer. How did that change you and your perception of life?

Currently I am working on my fourth book, which is a big change in style since it's a memoir rather than a Christian devotional. I grew up in a troubled home and knew first hand emotional neglect and abuse. My husband's rather sudden illness, rapid decline, and subsequent death rocked me by reawakening old losses and emotional wounds. I discovered my sense of security had been built on the foundation of my marriage, which was now gone. There have been periods of time when the pain has been so severe that it felt as if I could hardly breath. The unfairness of the normalcy of other people's lives has filled me with such rage and envy.

As a psychologist I thought I'd done a better job of grounding my identity. There are two questions that most often propel clients into counseling---"Why do bad things happen to good people?" and "Who am I?" I was shocked to discover that my own answers to those questions were also flawed.

In this book I explore the startling discoveries I make as I work through the meaning of my husband's death and my journey of recovery as I re-discover myself. I face hard truths, such as death is a natural part of life, to love another well means to risk losing him or her, and that each of us must be our own best source of comfort. My faith plays an important factor in this process. For example, I have been reminded that even though I'm not guaranteed life won't hurt me again, I can be confident God will never leave me.

In The Hard Road Home, you share your experience. In how far, would you say, does writing your memoir help you to process the past and to learn from it?

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we both knew I would write about the experience. Normally a very private person, he let me document the journey with photographs, blog posts, and social media updates.

I started writing the memoir one year after his death, which is still early in the grief process. It has been therapeutic since it has encouraged me to explore this transition. I often would start each day with a word-count target and an idea of a topic, but would discover surprising insights as I veered in different directions or penned new ideas. So, this process of writing has helped me to discover things I wasn't aware of until I wrote about them.

It also has impacted my grief. Before writing the first draft I was filled with rage, but as I remembered my life with my husband, my marriage, and his illness, the anger shifted into sadness. The grief softened from something with hard, sharp edges to something sweet. Working on this book has been a very healing experience.

When will your book be available? 

 I plan to release The Hard Road Home late 2017 or early 2018. I have a tentative book cover that I would love to share it with you. When I have a firm release date I will be sure to let you and your readers know when and where it will be available for purchase.

What are your next plans?

I have met some amazing people online who have also lost a spouse. They have taught me so much about what it means to love another, to be courageous, and to live life with incredible inner strength. For my next book I would like to collect stories from widows and widowers about what death has taught them about love. I think these individuals will have some wonderful insights to share with the rest of us.

 Who inspired your writing? Who is your favourite author?

 I have many favorite authors. I find the honest brokenness of Jamie Langston Turner's fictional characters moving. I am touched by the transparency and authenticity of Ann Voskamp, Mandy Stewart, and Lisa TerKeurst's work as they share their personal spiritual insights.

I am the most impacted by the bravery of writers who don't sugar-coat life's messiness.

Thank you for this opportunity of sharing about my journey of writing and about my next book!

Thanks, Kerry :)

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