Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Check out my close personal friend Mr. Bill (he took the interview more seriously)

Bill Flynn is a featured author in this weeks “E”ndependent Publishers $2.99 Ebook Club enewsletter in the "general fiction" category.

Reasons/Motivations/Inspirations Behind Why I Wrote The Feathery

I started in golf as a caddie at 12 years old. Caddies were allowed to play free on Mondays. I worked at a golf course assisting the greens keeper during high school and continued to play and become enamored by the game.

Fast forward to my adult year … as an aerospace engineer I worked in Naples, Italy, Paris France and The Hague, Netherlands over a period of ten years. While in those countries I played golf there as well as in Scotland, England and Ireland. The Feathery is set at the golf courses of Turnberry and St. Andrews, Scotland for the golf segments. London and Ireland provide a venue for drama in the book.

While in Europe I attended four British Open Tournaments and one Ryder Cup. Back in the United States I followed an acquaintance PGA Professional from Q-School and behind the ropes at The Masters. This gave me insight into the atmosphere and play at those major championships and helped me to create that same atmosphere in The Feathery.

After retiring from Aerospace, I started a golf product export business. As part of this I was consigned a collection of golf antiques and memorabilia. This took me to Japan and back to Europe in an attempt to sell them. Included in the collection were several feathery golf balls made and played at St. Andrews, Scotland in the 1800’s. I didn’t sell the collection, but feathery balls became my mantra of interest. I researched the method of manufacturing the ball and its history when used in play at St. Andrews. I decided to write a work of fiction with a valuable and most sought after feathery ball used during a record round being an object of collector greed. Besides golf play I wrapped this feathery ball in the story around teenage defiance, foreign intrigue, sleuthing, suspense and romance.

It took me about five years to complete the book. It was accepted by a traditional publisher, Sleeping Bear Press out of Michigan with a $2500.00 advance. Half way through my work with that publisher’s editor, Sleeping Bear was sold to Clock Tower Press. The new CEO decided not to do fiction. I was able to keep the advance because of a clause in my contract stating in effect; that if the publisher changed his mode of doing business the advance would be retained by the author. I self-published with Booksurge in 2007 and since then I’ve sold a total of 612 books through bookstores, book signings, direct sales and Amazon.

About the book: Scott Beckman inherits an antique feathery golf ball used in 1849 during a record match at St. Andrews, Scotland from his mentor, a golf professional, Sandy McNair. Sandy’s intervention had kept Scott and his best friend, Matt Kemp, away from juvenile delinquency by involving them in the game of golf. Scott moves on with Matt as his caddie to play on the PGA Tour. After running out of funds to stay on tour Scott reluctantly submits the valuable antique feathery ball, bequeathed to him by Sandy, to an auction in London. Ironically, after doing so, his earnings on tour start to soar. Scott removes the feathery from the auction much to the chagrin of those who were set on possessing this treasured artifact. One collector’s obsession is so strong he’ll murder and rob to own it.

Scott leaves the solution of murder and robbery up to Chief Inspector Bradshaw of Scotland Yard and Detective Riley of the NYPD while he continues play at the British Open. But his good play there against hot competition is interrupted when his caddie and friend, Matt Kemp, is abducted. A threatening note demanding Scott’s withdrawal leaves the tournament leader with no alternative … unless Scotland Yard’s quick intervention is successful.

About the Author: Bill Flynn is a retired aerospace engineer who lives in New Hampshire with wife, Barbara. His follow-on career was devoted to golf product exporting. Both careers took him to the places where his book, The Feathery, is set. He has been fortunate to have played imperfect golf on many of the perfect golf courses on this planet. Bill’s first novel, A Deadly Class Reunion was published in 2004 and available on Amazon.com. Bill’s work in process (working title: A Drumbeat Too Near) is about the adventures of three boys on Cape Cod in the 1940′s while German submarines lurk off shore. One sub launches two spies, and the boys stumble in on their covert mission. The back story describes the life and love of a German U-Boat commander who is not as enthralled by the Nazi regime as some of those in his crew.

Buy The Feathery at Amazon by clicking HERE.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Q&A with reclusive author of Joshua's Ladder (paperback version coming soon!)

As one of the featured authors in this week's Endependent Publishers Book Club, I had to submit to a question-and-answer session that you may, or may not, find enlightening. Here it is:

Q&A with Mark Haugen

Q: Haugen? Is that Swedish?
A: Norwegian. Don’t call me names.

Q: No offense. So what’s the book about?
A: Joshua’s Ladder?
Q: You have other books you want to talk about?
A: It was just a marketing thing - repeating the name of the book.
Q: Clever.
A: Thanks.

Q: So what’s Joshua’s Ladder about?
A: A guy who builds a ladder and climbs onto his roof and replaces some shingles.
Q: Seriously?
A: No.
Q: Can you be serious for a minute?
A: Okay. Joshua’s Ladder is about a guy who lost his parents and brother and then had a falling out with his fiancé and cancelled the wedding.
Q: Does he go looking for his family?
A: No. They’re dead. Killed in a car accident.
Q: Sorry.
A: That’s okay. They weren’t my family.

Q: So Joshua is bummed out?
A: Very. He retreats to his cabin in the Black Hills of South Dakota, drowns his sorrows, for 10 years.
Q: That’s a lot of beer over 10 years.
A: Whiskey, actually.
Q: Then what?
A: He goes into town about twice a year. On his most recent trip he finds that his old friends have given up on him ever returning to the Joshua of old. So he moves.

Q: Where?
A: Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Q: Good choice.
A: Yep. Falls in love with an astronaut.
Q: He’s gay?
A: No, the astronaut is Amy. But he meets a couple friends who are. Joshua and Amy fall in love, his life is coming back together. All is good.
Q: Until?
A: Until things go bad. And just when you think he’s fallen to the bottom of the ladder, he goes back to South Dakota, Amy rejoins him, his old friends meet his new friends, they bust a nationwide crime ring.
Q: And all is good?
A: For most of them.
Q: That’s kind of vague.
A: You want me to give away the ending?

Q: I’ll ask the questions here. How’d you come up with this story?
A: I read Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and it really struck a nerve. I decided I wanted to write a mystery/adventure/romance that was thoughtful, emotional, kind of the opposite of the serial killer/murder mystery stuff I usually read. No grisly murders, no courtroom scenes, just a narrative of a guy going up and down life’s ladder, something we all do but maybe not to the adventurous extent of Joshua.
Q: Will this book make me cry?
A: You’ll come close.
Q: Will it make me laugh?
A: Wet your pants.

Q: Is there a moral to the story?
A: Life is about the stories you can tell at the end of it. Stories, that when you tell them, people will arch their brow.
Q: Would your life’s stories make people arch their eyebrows?
A: Their eyebrows would fall off.

Q: Without getting into those stories, assuming the statute of limitations hasn’t expired, what’s your background?
A: Journalism. I’ve worked for newspapers belonging to two of the nation’s largest chains, Gannett and Lee Enterprises. I’ve also worked for small weekly newspapers. I’ve been a reporter, editor, sportswriter, written obits, pretty much everything. Finally, I started my own weekly newspaper from scratch, ran it with some success for five years, then sold it to Gannett.
Q: Went the full circle?
A: Yep.
Q: Where do you live now?
A: I’m a fifth-generation South Dakotan, and never strayed too far away. Lived the past six-plus years outside Rapid City, SD.

Q: Family?
A: Wife of 22 years; two daughters, 19 and 17; son, 13; a retriever/lab named Stanley; and a pet rabbit, Johnny Depp.
Q: Your rabbit is named Johnny Depp?
A: Yep.
Q: That explains a lot.

Friday, May 6, 2011

No Pulitzer, but the 'E'ndependent Publishers $2.99 Ebook Club came calling!

Just received notice that Joshua's Ladder will be among the six romance novels promoted in the May 15 newsletter of the "E"ndependent Publishers $2.99 Ebook Club.

Say what?! You don't belong to that club? I have just one thing to say to that: Loooooser!

But it's not too late for you. You don't have to be a loser for your entire life. You can subscribe to this ebook club and receive its enewsletter and your life will improve dramatically - guaranteed, almost. Guys, you know the hot neighbor lady who has never given you a second glance ... well she'll be ogling you up and down now! Gals, the FedEx guy who ignored you in your see-thru teddy last time you answered the door ... well he'll be dropping that sign-in tablet thingy and whispering sweet nothings in your ear now that he's learned you belong to the "E"ndependent Publishers $2.99 Ebook Club.

Whadayou have to lose? Nothing but your loser status.

It costs nothing, and then you might even find an inexpensive ebook like Joshua's Ladder that will exponentially improve your standing in life - guaranteed, maybe.

The book promos are scheduled to run May 15. Subscribe to this link.

Books you will find offered include:

◦Helmy Kusuma - Ai :/lʌv
◦Sheri Leigh – Star Struck
◦Mark Haugen – Joshua’s Ladder
◦Skylar Hamilton Burris – Conviction: a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
◦Rebecca Melvin – In the Brief Eternal Silence
◦Skylar Hamilton Burris – An Unlikely Missionary

General Fiction:
◦Bill Flynn – The Feathery
◦Colleen Wait – Lessons Learned at Summer Camp
◦John Guenther – Soul Runner
◦E. V. Mitchell – Color of Heaven
◦Diane Morlan – Too Dead to Dance
◦Patricia Rockwell – Sounds of Murder

History, War and Military (fiction and non-fiction):
◦Marva Dasef – Tales of a Texas Boy◦James Spurr – Sworn for Mackinaw
◦Jane Gill – A Matter of Pride

◦Colette Ellis - Focus on Your Vision
◦Genieve Dawkins - Words of Hope for the Depressed, Oppressed and Recessed
◦Tannieka Dawkins – Cultivating Lilies
◦Maria Papadopoulou – From Hell with Love
◦Vickie Johnstone – Kaleidescope

Sci-Fi – Fantasy – Vampire - Horror
◦George Straatman - The Converging: Closures in Blood
◦Brent Nichols – Bert the Barbarian
◦Laura Lond – My Sparkling Misfortune
◦Sheri Leigh – Graveyard Games
◦Peter Shackle – A Disruptive Invention
◦Laura Lond – The Battle