Thursday, May 2, 2019

Julious Fletcher, Author of Lessons from the Human Body

julious fletcher, lessons from the human body, human anatomy, self-help, wellness, get well with your body, learn about yourself
Julious Fletcher is the author of "Lessons from the Human Body," a self-help book about learning life lessons from the human body.

Tell us about yourself.
I am a professional dancer, actor and model. I have obtained my BFA in Theatre Performance and I have traveled domestically and internationally, teaching children dance and drama as well as performing.  I have worked with children (ages 3-12) for five years in an educational setting.  I am currently pursing my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Expressive Art Therapy, emphasis in Dance Movement Therapy. I have produced short films entitled “Raped” which is a poetic expression that talks about sexual assault victims and “African Americans in Education,” which is a documentary about African-American educators who discussed today’s issues such as segregation, racism, education, and the importance of Black History month. They are posted on my YouTube channel, OnlyJulious. Overall, I am a down-to-earth and comical man.

Describe the purpose of "Lessons from the Human Body" in a few sentences.
It is a holistic book that takes the different human body systems, breaks them down, and analysis them on how they apply to our daily lives.   

Who do you think would most enjoy "Lessons from the Human Body"?
Anyone is in interested in the self-help genre and anyone who desire to heal and grow.

What inspired you to write about the lessons we can learn from the human body?
I would say part of it was because of my degree. One of the sayings in my field is that we should listen to our bodies because it has wisdom in it. I always loved Anatomy and Physiology back in high school; this book helped me combine my Anatomy and Physiology love and my aspiring counseling wisdom together.  

In society as a whole, do you think we are moving closer to or further from being connected with our bodies?
It’s both. Some people are becoming self-aware and becoming connected to themselves and some people are becoming further disconnected from themselves. When people are being connected to themselves, they are being self-full (taking care of themselves in a proper manner); when people are being disconnected, they are being selfish; selfish is a destructive form of self-care. Disconnected people also are focused on superficial things and materialistic things to keep up the appearances, not being the true self. 

One of the topics you talk about in "Lessons from the Human Body" is the relationship between the human circulatory system and the human need to distribute life to others. Can you expand on this for us?
Society does not discuss the balance of self-care and sacrifice enough. In that particular chapter, I talk about how we need to be able to contribute or distribute life to others by giving encouraging words, an act of kindness, listening or being there for people during tough times; however, distributing life to someone should not cause you to be in lack. For example, if someone needs $20 and I don’t have $20 to give, I don’t put myself in debt or in the hole to satisfy someone else’s need. This raise up another chapter which discusses boundaries and letting your “No” be “No.” However, if the need is able to be fulfilled such giving a ride or sitting with them as a form of support during a major doctor visit, that’s contributing life. In today’s society, we have focused so much about ourselves, we don’t consider another person. Then, when a person commits suicide, people feel bad because that person was crying out for help and no one heard him or her. That chapter helps us understand proper life contribution and identifying what is true love. 
julious fletcher, lessons from the human body, human anatomy, self-help, wellness, get well with your body, learn about yourself

Something you bring up in the book is whether people are willing to learn the lessons of the human body. What do you think makes some people resistant to learning these lessons?
Lessons are: confronting negative emotions such as fear, denial, shame and guilt; understanding the root of mental illness, which come from trauma and/or historical pathology; confronting the excuses (or lies) we tell ourselves of why we are not being productive in our talents, gifts and skills; identifying healthy/unhealthy relationships and having the strength to leave unhealthy relationships.

What was the most interesting thing you uncovered while doing research for "Lessons from the Human Body"?
All of it was fascinating to me; I think the most interesting thing was my personal experience about misalignments. Misalignments are not only the improper adjustment in our backs but we can have a misalignment within our true selves and because we are misaligned within ourselves, then we connect to people, things or organizations that do not connect with our authentic self. It takes a moment of honesty and self-worth to understand our alignments. 

Did writing "Lessons from the Human Body" take you to unexpected places or reveal things you hadn’t thought about before?
It really did! It caused me to go within myself for healing as well. While I was writing this book, I became disappointed with someone and later that day, I found out my uncle died. In the midst of my hurt, I knew my uncle would have wanted me to move forward. When I went to work on the book, I was on the section where I talked about dealing with disappointment and grief. So, it helped me heal in certain areas of my life as well. 

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
Once I received the inspiration (or the idea), I draft out an outline of the chapters and topics within the chapters. Then it becomes writing my thoughts and researching on those topics. If I get hit a road block and inspiration is not flowing, then I take a break for however long it takes.  Once I have relaxed, I go back, review and pick up where I left off. If it is still something that is flowing, I move to other section of the book.   

How do you think reading "Lessons from the Human Body" will impact people?
It would encourage people change their way of thinking and it would challenge the review any lies that were said to them. It would cause people to come into a place of healing.  

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
Right now, I am in between book projects. I am currently planning and working on some short film scripts. 

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
I want you to read with an open heart and mind. I want you to have an expectation for healing. Most importantly, I want you to trust the process, which means be patient with yourself and take your time. 

Additional Information
Follow Julious Fletcher on Twitter
Watch Julious Fletcher on Youtube
Buy the paperback version of "Lessons from the Human Body"
Buy the Kindle version of "Lessons from the Human Body"

Friday, February 1, 2019

Caldric Blackwell, Author of The Sacred Artifact

middle grade fantasy, middle grade book, middle-grade novel, the sacred artifact, caldric, caldric blackwell, middle grade books
Caldric Blackwell is the author of the middle-grade novel "The Sacred Artifact," the second and final book in the Young Alchemist series.

Describe your new middle grade fantasy novel, The Sacred Artifact.
“The Sacred Artifact” follows fourteen-year-old alchemy student Craig Pike, his teacher, and a witty archer, named Audrey Clife, as they journey to the birthplace of alchemy to unravel the secret of an alchemical artifact. Their journey takes them to dangerous-yet-mystical lands where they realize the artifact has more powerful than anticipated, and they aren’t the only ones seeking to discover its secrets.

Who would enjoy “The Sacred Artifact”? Or the Young Alchemist series in general?
Anyone who enjoys a good middle-grade novel will enjoy the series. It’s aimed at ages ten to fourteen, although younger and older readers can certainly enjoy it. There’s plenty of fantasy, action, adventure, and mystery in the series. Additionally, the cast of characters have some interesting dynamics.

How was the experience of writing “The Sacred Artifact” different from writing the first book in the series, “The Missing Alchemist”? 
Well, it was different in a number of ways as well as similar in a number of ways. In “The Missing Alchemist,” I introduced readers to Craig Pike and Audrey Clife and the world they live in. In “The Sacred Artifact,” readers are already familiar with the protagonists, so I could focus more on developing the world and introducing a cast of new exciting characters. Readers also get the opportunity to learn more about the history of alchemy and even see where Cornelius, the famous alchemist in book one, trained … and meet his teacher! 

With any sequel, there’s the risk that you’ll lose the magic of the first book, particularly among die-hard fans. Was that a concern of yours? 
There’s always that possibility in sequels. A lot musicians face the same thing. People say, “The old stuff was better.” I didn’t write the second book really worried about it, though. All the magic of “The Missing Alchemist” I carried into “The Sacred Artifact.” I just made it bigger. You get to know Craig and Audrey even more. You get to see more of the world. And a lot of the questions raised in the first book get answered. Plus, there’s even more action, adventure, and cool places, as well as some really interesting new places.

In “The Missing Alchemist,” readers got a taste of alchemy. Is there more alchemy in this book?
Absolutely. Readers get to see the birthplace of alchemy itself and are introduced to more alchemists. Additionally, a lot more of the mechanics of alchemy are explained. In “The Missing Alchemist,” Craig was still very green in his experience with alchemy. In “The Sacred Artifact,” the reader gets to follow as Craig progresses with his alchemy training, including learning about metallurgy. There’s even some chemistry stuff in there.

Are there any new characters you enjoyed writing?
Yes! Quite a few actually. One of the things I enjoyed about this book was really expanding the cast of characters. There’s a character named Captain Charla. She’s a boisterous, no-nonsense captain of charter boat in a swamp region. She has a great sense of humor, so it was fun trying to capture her for the reader.

Another character I enjoyed writing is Quintus. He’s a wise, ancient alchemist who actually taught Cornelius. He’s very reserved and contemplative, and it was a nice challenge trying to relay this in his dialogue. He plays an important role in the plot, so I wanted to do him justice.

Did you have any goals for this book?
I had a few. I wanted the readers to get more experience with the characters they loved in the first book. I wanted to expand Craig and Audrey’s world, and I wanted to flesh out more of the alchemy history hinted at in the first book. And of course, as the final book in the series, I wanted to ensure readers had closure when they finished. Most importantly, though, I wanted to write a fun, enthralling book that really stimulates the reader’s imagination.

Speaking of it being the final book in the series, what was the experience like writing the last line?
Good question! I experienced a mixture of emotions. Although the series isn’t very long, I’d spent years with the characters by the time I finished it. So in a sense, there was some sadness seeing the story coming to an end, and there was some nostalgia remembering when I first started the series. There was also a sense of joy and satisfaction. I feel I really did the characters and the story justice, and I am excited to have the opportunity to share it with the readers.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
I’m currently working on a young adult book. I don’t want to say too much about it right now, but it’s quite different from my other projects.

Anything else you want to tell potential readers?
Anyone interested in learning more about The Sacred Artifact or any of my other books can find more information at

More Information
Visit the author's website
Follow the author on Twitter
Find the author on Facebook
Buy "The Sacred Artifact" on Amazon

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Wolf Sane, Guitarist/Singer in Spirits of Abeth

Today's interview is with Wolf Sane, a singer, guitar player, and song writer in Spirits of Abeth. In the interview, we cover a number of topics relevant to the band, from influences to the song-writing process to the future of the band, and more. 

Learn More About Spirits of Abeth
Listen to Spirits of Abeth on Soundcloud
Check out Spirits of Abeth on Facebook
Listen to “Mosquito Blues” by Spirits of Abeth on Youtube
Follow Wolf Sane on Instagram
Direct link to Interview

spirits of abeth, wolf sane, SOA, SOA4life, musical influences, band interview, california rock music

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tony Palermo, Author of Positive Thoughts Will Change Your Life

Self-help book, Positive Thinking, Positive results, Life Coach, Life Coaching, tony palermo, Thinking in a positive way
Today's interview is with self-help author Tony Palermo. We're talking about his book "Positive Thoughts Will Change your Life | A Handbook For Personal Transformation."

Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Tony Palermo and I’m a certified life coach based in California.  I’m 38 years old and grew up in northern California.  I went to Butte College to get a few two-year degrees and went on to get my four-year degree at California Southern University down in Costa Masa near the Los Angeles.

Describe your book, “Positive Thoughts Will Change Your Life,” in a few sentences.
This book is a guide to help people live a happier healthy life.  I wrote this book to help people and to tell my story of why I became a life coach.

Who do you think would benefit most from reading this book?
This book with benefit anyone who is looking to change his or her life for the better.

Was helping others address problems in their lives and accomplish their goals something you were always interested in? Or is it a passion that evolved over time?
The passion really has evolved over time.  For a long time I suffered from being low and depression it was not until I found my life coach that I really turned a corner and started to get some real help for it.  At that time I thought to myself I would love to help people and spread the word about affirmations and thinking in a positive way to change people’s lives.  In a way getting help with my depression changed my life in a lot of ways.  Not only was I happier but I wanted to help other people with not only depression but with anything they had issues with.

You write a lot about the power of changing one’s negative thought processes. For many people this seems very daunting. Is it as challenging as it seems or is something that gets easier with the right approach?
It does seem very challenging when we first think of changing out negative thoughts to be more positive.  For me, it was changing my negative thinking of “I feel depressed” or “I feel sad” to something more positive.  So I would say, “Yes, I feel happy and my body is perfect.”  I changed the negative thinking to be positive.  So instead of saying the negative affirmation, “I feel depressed” I would say, “Yes, I feel happy and my body is perfect.” 

Let me say this does not happen overnight.  I still catch myself thinking in a negative way at times and  in turn will start to feel depressed.  But now I realize if I change my thinking to be more positive I can change the way I feel.  It does not take long now because I have been thinking in a positive way for a few years now.

People will give up because they see no results.  I totally understand this it took me a few months of saying positive affirmations before I started to see change.  But with that said in the end it’s worth it.  You can do it, just don’t give up.

A major topic in your book is the power of affirmation. For people who aren’t familiar with affirmations, can you explain what they are and why they are important?
Affirmations are anything that we talk about or think about.  A good example is when I was feeling depressed I would say, “I feel depressed.”  I said this every day because that’s how I was feeling.  In turn, that’s what I got in my life.  I manifested more depression because I was saying “I feel depressed” when I changed to a positive affirmation like “I feel wonderful, my body is perfect” my whole life change.  

My point here is you can say positive and negative affirmations and the universe will respond and give you what you are thinking about.  My advice to everyone is really think about what you are saying and if it’s a negative statement changes it to be positive.

You’ve written about dealing with break-ups in a healthy way. What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to deal with the end of a relationship?

In my experience, people tend to try and hang onto the past.  They will try to get back together with their ex even if they know deep down they are not the right person.  People will often want to get back together because they are afraid of being alone.  Being alone sometimes is a good thing.  It gives us time to heal and look back on our relationship and understand why it did not work.

My main point is like the old saying goes it’s better to be single than in a bad relationship.  Don’t try and get back together with an ex just because it’s scary being along or you don’t want to be alone.

In addition to writing, you do both personal and business life coaching. A lot of people have some level of familiarity with personal life coaching, but business life coaching is a little more foreign to most people. What can life coaching do for someone in the business world?
In the business world, I help owners and executives with a wide range of issues.  First a lot of people who run companies not all but a lot have a lot of self-doubts that they are not doing a great job.  Or they just don’t feel good about what they are doing.  I help them to realize that self-doubts and thinking in a negative way can impact their business.  It’s really almost the same as turning negative affirmations to positive affirmations, even owners or top executives have self-esteem and self-doubts about their business lives and personal lives.

No matter if it’s personal life coaching or business life coaching the main thing I’m trying to get the client to realize is they can feel good, they can feel happy, they can feel wonderful about their life. 

If someone has a question about your life coaching or book, is there a way to reach you?
A great way to reach me is on my website at or by phone

Thanks for speaking with us! Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I would just like to say thank you for letting me tell my story and remind your readers to always think in a positive way.  When you think in a positive way long term you will manifest positive results.

More Information
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Gemma Snow, Author of Seduction en Pointe

Erotic Romance, Erotic Novel, Paris, Ballet, Celebrity, Voyeurism, Exhibitonism, Television Stars, Teacher, Romance, Bisexual erotic novel, bisexual romance novel, gemma snow, seduction pointe book
Today we are interviewing Gemma Snow about her contemporary erotic romance novel "Seduction en Pointe."

Describe the plot of your new book, “Seduction en Pointe,” in a few sentences.
Nicco Castillo, star of the famous television drama, The Queen Anne’s Revenge, bad boy about town, gets shipped off to Paris for ballet classes, and so his production team can keep him on a tight leash. There, he meets the icy, but oh-so-tempting Isabelle La Croix, his ballet instructor, who wants nothing to do with performers, no matter how hot around the collar Nicco makes her. When Isabelle accidentally seems something she shouldn’t, however, she and Nicco begin to bond over shared hurt, their friendship turning to something far more decadent, and dangerous, as Isabelle and Nicco find themselves dancing all over Paris.

Who do you think would most enjoy this book?

I think "Seduction en Pointe" will appeal to anyone who’s ever fantasized about a Paris love affair. Nicco is definitely a bad boy, but he has a huge heart, and Isabelle has been hurt and needs to be reminded that she’s worth loving, and it’s worth it to give her love back in return. Set against the background of the most romantic city on earth, they divulge their pasts, learn how to heal and explore their intimate and unique desires. It’s a story for artists, travelers and lovers alike!

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Nicco Castillo.

I loved writing Nicco. I think of the two main characters, he went through a much larger and in-depth development process. In the beginning, I knew I wanted a bad boy who liked to tease and flirt and didn’t take anything seriously, but the first iterations came out a little cardboard and two-dimensional. The deeper I got into writing Nicco, the more I understood that his behavior was rooted in hurt and a sense of losing who he was over his time spent in Hollywood. I think it’s a universal theme to struggle with a sense of self, and exploring Nicco’s journey to finding who he is, against a background of so much pomp and masquerade as Hollywood, was a satisfying and important.

What can you tell us about the relationship between Nicco and Isabelle?

So I’m all about the love/hate tension, and I knew from the start that "Seduction" needed that element, though it took awhile to figure out exactly why. For Isabelle, Nicco is a stark reminder of her ex-husband, who publically humiliated her with his affairs. Nicco is a playboy, though a lot of that is his defense mechanism to deal with his own hurt, at his ex-boyfriend’s unfaithfulness, which Isabelle doesn’t find out until later.

A lot of their relationship is about seeing past what’s on the surface—Isabelle and Nicco both wear masks to cover up what’s been done to them, and when they eventually crack through, they see the people below. Playing around with the elements of performance, both artistically with the acting for Nicco and the ballet for Isabelle, and erotically, with this shared exploration into voyeurism and exhibitionism, was a huge element of that dropping the mask theme.

How does the tumultuous ending to Nicco’s prior relationship affect his relationship with Isabelle?

A lot of Nicco’s bad behavior, the drinking, the partying, the kind of lifestyle that landed him in the emergency room at the very beginning of the book, is a reaction to his failed relationship with Antonio. Though Antonio is ultimately the one who is unfaithful, Nicco goes through the journey of understanding his own role in why the relationship didn’t last—something he eventually works through to be with Isabelle. Since she’s suffered much of the same hurt, though in a far more public and damning capacity, their shared pain and ultimately shared healing is a large part of what brings them together.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?

I’ll recommend reading Juliette Marillier until the day I die. Along with J.K. Rowling and Jane Austen, I’ve learned much about writing unique women with a wide breadth of skills, talents, personalities and relationships. I’ll learn at their helm for the rest of my life.

As far as romance, I owe so much to Eloisa James, Sarah MacLean, Laura Kaye, Suzanne Brockmann and so, so many others. I’m of the mind that you can’t be a writer unless you’re a reader, and I strive to surround myself with the greats.

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?
Ebooks are a good thing, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. For one, the accessibility of ebooks has opened writing to the world. You don’t need connections in New York or a wealthy spouse to try your hand at writing. The options are all there, and that’s really fundamental and important for new writers.

They’re also far more accessible for readers, who can order ebooks from the library and download them the day they’re released. Writers also make more money when they’re not producing physical books, which might just mean they can carve a stable career from it. We’re moving forward with ebooks, undoubtedly.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
Eee, well I’m hoping to continue the Full Swing series, of which "Seduction en Pointe" is book one. I’m also working on The Triple Diamond series, with "The Lovin’ Is Easy" coming out this month. My main objective is to be able to support myself with writing. I don’t see a future where I’m not a writer, and I have so many stories to tell, so I look forward to the chance to continue following this crazy dream and hoping it all works out.

Tell us about your next book.
Yes! So "The Lovin’ Is Easy" comes out at the end of September and is available for pre-order on the major retailers and early download through Totally Bound. Unsurprisingly, that’s part of a four book series (I love writing series!) set at the Triple Diamond Ranch in Montana, and I just finished up the first draft of book two! "The Lovin’ Is Easy" is the story of city girl Madison Hollis, who inherits a ranch from an uncle she’s never met. When she goes out to inspect the place for sale, she meets the two ranch managers, Christian Harlow and Ryder Dean, and ends up on a whirlwind of desire, family history and personal journey.

I’m also working on "Leather and Gold," which is historical BDSM. One of my favorite elements of writing historical is the built in tension, stemming from propriety and the rules of society. Adding this heavily erotic element into that has been a unique and fun challenge.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Romance and erotic romance are really important genres, they’re forward thinking, progressive and open-minded. But in today’s day and age, we can’t be feminist if we’re not intersectional. It’s important to me, moving forward, to continue pushing for diverse, inclusive and representative books, and I’m hoping to see the tide in the industry begin to change as well. Romance has a history of paving the way for the future, from Jane Austen and the domestic story, to the proliferation of romance in grocery stores, so housewives could hide it in the grocery budget without their husband’s knowledge. We have routinely pushed against the order, and we must, cohesively and persistently, do so now.

Thank you so much for having me, and for reading! I hope you enjoy "Seduction en Pointe!"

An excerpt from "Seduction en Pointe":
He schooled his features and checked in with the receptionist for his appointment with the French production team before turning around to face her. If he’d thought her beautiful from the back, he hadn’t been prepared for her face, for the expression in her pale-blue eyes, for the softest, sweetest curve of dusky-rose lips as they parted slightly.

She read a magazine, and Niccolo cursed himself for having let his written French lapse, because he didn’t have a clue which glossy it was.

Still, never hurt to try, and something about this unknown woman made it impossible for him to walk away or pick one of the seats at the far end of the waiting room. She called to him, a modern-day siren, all enticing and impossible to ignore. So he sat beside her, catching a hint of her scent. She smelled like lemons, sweet and fresh, and that seemed to fit her, as did the pointed sharpness of her neck, which grew considerably more rigid once she realized he planned on talking to her.

“What is it you’re reading?” he asked, thickening his Spanish accent. As long as he’d been chasing lovers, the Spanish charm had always worked wonders. Hell, it did wonders for getting him starring roles too.

“Who wants to know?” Her accent was light, as though she’d learned English alongside her French, studied in Sweden or London or New York City. But for all of the softness that came spilling out of those pale-rose lips, there was a steel core that told Nicco she wasn’t having any of his charm. Her words came out strong, self-possessed, and confident, and they made him curious about the woman below the slight frame. Despite appearing so soft, she held her head at a tilt that signified power, kept her neck straight, her shoulders arched. Everything about her stance told Nicco exactly how she felt at his intrusion into her space. Normally, he took his cues and left the obviously uninterested alone, but this woman was enchanting and mysterious, and Nicco found he couldn’t quite look away from her, even as he knew that he tempted the serpent, perhaps because he did. 
More Information
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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Howard Kaplan, Author of The Damascus Cover

damascus book, middle east spy book, Israeli Secret Service bookAn interview with Howard Kaplan, author of the "The Damascus Cover," the first book in the Jerusalem Spy Series.

Tell us a bit about your novel, “The Damascus Cover.”
"The Damascus Cover" is a plot within a plot.  There’s a surface story about a rescue of children from Damascus.  Then there is an underlying story unknown to the protagonist as he races through Syria and everything starts to go wrong.  He slowly learns it is intended to go wrong and there’s a twist near the end of the story that actually didn’t come to me until I was a good deal into writing it.

 You have a unique background, having lived in the Middle East, as well as participated in covert missions in the USSR. Did your personal experiences influence your writing?
When I was 21 and 22, I made two forays into the Soviet Union to smuggle out manuscripts on microfilm.  At the time anyone leaving the USSR could not take unpublished writings with them as they were considered “property of the state.”  I was arrested and interrogated for four days though I had no incriminating documents on me.  I met some people in the espionage business along the way so I began to write about what I’d learned and seen in fiction form. I’m always surprised when how writing, personal experiences jump to mind and find their way into the novel.  So yes, all I’ve seen and experienced and I’ve been to the Middle East dozens of times seem into the works.

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Kaplan on-set for The Damascus Cover film.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist Ari Ben-Sion.
Ari is a man who has made a huge mistake that cost the life of a younger spy.  He’s plummeted from being at the top of his game and is desperate not to be put out to pasture, so he will accept about any mission.  He does not realize the head of the Israeli Secret Service uses Ari’s weakness to create a greater mission.

“The Damascus Cover” will soon be made into a major motion picture. What can you tell us about this upcoming film?
The film adaptation stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Olivia Thirlby (Juno, Goliath) as Kim and Ari.  There is great chemistry between them.  I was on set in Morocco for some of the shoot.  The head of the Israeli Secret Service is played by Sir John Hurt, who recently passed after an illustrious career.  We are beyond lucky to have had him with us.

Some authors have a very hands-off approach in the production of their book’s film adaptation while others are more involved. What was your role in the movie’s creation like?
Generally speaking production companies purchase motion picture and television rights to the novel, which means I still control the book and they have complete say in the screen versions.  I was fortunate to maintain and close relationship with the director so while I had little input into the script, I was invited on several occasions to view the film during the editing process and I made a number of suggestions which were taken.

The protagonist of “The Damascus Cover,” Ari, is played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the upcoming film. What about Meyers makes him a good fit for the character?
Jonny as he likes to be called is a fabulous actor and he brings passion to everything he does both in terms of action and romance.  He was a real coup to get him to play Ari. 

What, if any, were the difficulties of transitioning the story to the big screen?
Changes were made but there weren’t any real difficulties other than one scene where in the novel Ari jumps off a train and the producers decided it would be too expensive to shoot so they changed that transition to inside a movie theater in Damascus.  The director often says that when he was up against a wall he always returned to “the spine of the novel.”  So the film adaptation preserves the integrity of the book.  It’s real a marvelous movie.

“The Damascus Cover” is the first book in the Jerusalem Spy Series. Is there any talk of film adaptations for subsequent books in the series?
Not yet, but wouldn’t that be great.  I think those things depend on the success of the film.

Thank you for speaking with us about your book and upcoming movie!

An excerpt from the opening of "The Damascus Cover":

DOV ELON sat in the dirt in his cell leaning against the whitewashed wall. The cubicle, three feet by five feet, was windowless. The air stank of urine. A can, his washbasin, lay on its side in one corner. A thin blanket covered the mound of damp straw piled in the other.  
Dov’s eyes rested on the food trap in the door. Not long before he’d heard the banshee cry of the muezzin beckoning the Muslim inmates to prayer. He assumed a bowl of jasmine tea would soon be pushed through the food trap, but he wasn’t sure. The previous day he’d been transferred from Tadmor Prison, near the ancient Greek ruins of Palmyra in the north, to Sigin al-Mazza, on the outskirts of Damascus.  He didn’t know if his new guards would feed him regularly or at random intervals. So he waited, listening for approaching footsteps, not moving—for every shift in position arched pain through his bruised body. After a while he closed his eyes. The minutes fell away. There were no sounds. The silence hummed in his ears.
More Information
Buy The Damascus Cover on Amazon
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IMDB page for The Damascus Cover 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Dude One, Co-Founder of The AMZ Dudes

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An interview with Joe, aka Dude One, co-founder of The AMZ Dudes, a consulting service for Amazon sellers.

Sum up The AMZ Dudes for us in a few sentences.
We are a no-nonsense consulting company for Amazon sellers. We help everyone from people who haven't even set up an account to people doing high-volume sales. We noticed that all of the other Amazon-centric consultants either charge exorbitant prices for legit help, only take top-seller clients, or just pitch you a course. We are here to help regular sellers step up their game at an affordable price

Why did you decide on the name The AMZ Dudes?
We weren't sure what to call it, and we both love "The Big Lebowski." As simple as that really. It goes with our easy-going approach and kinda demonstrates that we are just normal guys and not weirdo self-help guru dickheads trying to fleece people.
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Joe aka Dude One

Tell us a bit about what attracted you to selling on Amazon.
Money. I was floundering away wasting my time in college and a friend of mine showed me how to do Retail Arbitrage. I worked hard at it and started making a lot of money. I quit my job, dropped out of school and haven't looked back. Mike was making six figures as an energy consultant and he quit his job to sell on Amazon, too.
What inspired you to start an Amazon consulting company to help other sellers?

Money. This isn't a charity, and we don't pretend to be in this to spread the love. We work hard for our clients, so they keep hiring us (giving us their money). We're not greedy, and we don't fleece people like most Amazon consulting companies. We both like helping people, and it does feel good to have a successful account suspension appeal, ASIN suspension appeal, or even just boost the BSR of a struggling product...but ya, we're in it to supplement our incomes.

The AMZ Dudes is run by two dudes. Can you tell us a bit about how you met Dude Two?
Mike and I grew up in the same neighborhood and were in the same class from kindergarten to high school. I taught him how to sell on Amazon because he hated his "real" job and it was bumming me out by association.

What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see first-time sellers make?
Second-guessing themselves and never taking action. You need to just dive in and learn from your mistakes. It is really not as hard as the big consulting gurus make it seem. Everyone encounters problems...Amazon customer service is a nightmare and the platform is awful to sellers. That's part of what we do—help sellers avoid pitfalls and help turn things around when they go south.

The AMZ Dudes have a wide-range of clients, from people who have just started selling on Amazon to those who have been selling for years. What are common hurdles that experienced sellers face?
Most of the work we do with experienced sellers is product detail page optimization. Things like keyword research and PPC campaign improvements. Suspension prevention type stuff, such as metrics evaluation, creating seller support cases to address the potential problems we find...stuff like that. Every case is different.

Outside of the services you’ve already mentioned, what other services do you offer to clients?
Our services are not set in stone. We treat every client as an individual and structure pricing based on how much work we have to do. My favorite thing to do is product idea validation, because then I get to see the whole project through from conception to listing creation to PPC management. The most common ones are: policy violation appeal, new account setup, negative product review removal, and listing optimization. People generally comes to us when there is a problem...not for prevention, which is a bummer.

Amazon is growing at an incredible rate. Does this growth have an impact on Amazon’s rules for sellers?
Bezos changes his mind like a child. He is a control freak to the Nth degree. The rules are constantly changing and if you don't watch out you will lose your account and Amazon freezes your funds for three months. This is a great reason to stay ahead of the curve on policy changes and practice prevention instead of reacting to negative policy violations.

How do The AMZ Dudes keep up with the latest changes in Amazon’s policies for sellers?
Since we both make our living as full-time sellers we are forced to keep up with these changes to stay in business. Even without the consulting business, we are constantly reading all the material we can about new or even possible future Amazon policy changes. Facebook groups, newsletters, blogs, YouTube, Reddit, etc. It sucks, but it's necessary. Ignorance is not a valid excuse and Amazon doesn't care about sellers in the slightest. They'd rather just ban you than deal with your excuses.

I’ve seen lots of people posting on Facebook about Amazon testing drones for deliveries. Is this a real possibility? Or is it just a publicity stunt?
It's definitely going to happen but the government has thrown quite a lot of red tape at it. Is it pointless? Yes. Publicity stunt? Yes.  If you're close enough to the warehouse that a drone can carry your box, you're close enough that an eighteen-year-old kid making minimum wage can drive a car to your house pretty quick. Probably a lot more cost effective.

On a similar note, I’m hearing a lot about Amazon lockers. What are they and what is the benefit for Amazon customers?
Lockers are just a drop-off point for packages. It's like a private mailbox that doesn't cost anything. It's useful if you're worried about package theft or have auto-replenish orders and are on vacation.

For people on the fence about selling on Amazon, is now a good time to get into it? Why or why not?
Absolutely it is. There are more customers on Amazon now than ever before. My sales go up and up and up every month. Was Amazon easier for sellers ten years ago? Of course. Now we're bogged down in rules, but with a good consultant on your side, you can navigate the murky waters, avoid common mistakes, and start making a lot more money than you make at your boring desk job.

There’s a lot of talk in the media about the so-called gig economy. People will take a part-time job during the day then augment their income at night with a “gig”, such as driving for Uber. Can people sell part-time on Amazon to supplement their income or is it too demanding?
A lot of people do Amazon part-time. Some take their "hobby" business and try it out on Amazon. Others do retail arbitrage (reselling goods from discount and department stores). Others have one private label product idea and focus on that because they want the security or benefits they get from a "regular" job. But doing Amazon private label selling is just too profitable for me to not do it full-time.

How does pricing work for the services the AMZ Dudes offer? Do you have flat-rates or do you tailor the prices for each client?
We have flat rates for the simple services, but most of the work is custom. It's cheaper than you'd think.  Plus we drop the price when you want more work done. Buy in bulk and get a better deal. Simple.

If someone is interested in using your Amazon consulting services, how do they get in contact with you?
Just go to and there are contact-us buttons all over the place. that forward to both of our emails, so one of us is bound to respond quickly. From there we usually exchange a couple emails then set up a phone call, or Skype if you prefer to see our beautiful faces. Once we know what you need and the direction your going we put together a detailed proposal with itemized pricing.

Anything else you’d like to add?
We are two honest guys who want a base of repeat clients who will be so pleased with their results that they tell their friends. We will never subcontract any of the work or try to charge more if the work ends up being more than we quoted. We are very thorough and keep the client involved in the process whenever possible.

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