May 11, 2014

Author Interview with Martin Hill

Hi, Martin, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m the author of two Indie books – “Duty” a collection of mystery and suspense short stories, and my latest, “The Killing Depths,” a military mystery thriller. I’ve been writing for most of my life. In fact, I was a journalist for many years before switching careers ten years ago and going to work for the Navy as an analyst in combat medical capabilities. Besides fiction, I still write nonfiction, mostly on military history and things like wilderness survival and disaster response, for magazines and a website. When I’m not working or writing, I spend time with my wife and son, and spoil our two cats silly.

April 21, 2014

Author Interview with Lorena Turner

Hi Lorena, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Lorena Turner. I am a photographer first, and a writer second. Though I started writing before working as a photographer. I’m also a photojournalism professor at a university in Southern California. 

Why did you start writing?
I started writing first (twenty five years or so ago) as a way of recording and analyzing my own experiences. My writing was, at first, very personal, kind of diaristic, maybe even inspired by the type of chronicling that Anais Nin did with her journals and storytelling. Over time, the way I approached writing changed. As I entered my 30s, it became less important for me to try to understand and contexualize my relationships and impetus for my creative work, and I wasn’t really sure who my audience was for that kind writing anyway. 

Around that time, my work as a photographer and photojournalist took off, I was also writing grants for non-profit arts organizations in New York City. Both of these outlets heightened my love and interest in non-fiction storytelling. As a photojournalist written storytelling is somewhat limited - mainly captions and introductions to photo essays. This evolved into creating documentary photography projects that have a strong written component. In 2006, I had a series of exhibitions based on a group of photos taken by a community of Afro Colombian people living on the Pacific coast of Colombia. I wrote the accompanying essay with an anthropology professor from the UK. It was thrilling to know an audience would read my words. I carried that feeling to other, similar, projects I developed. 

In time, it has become clear that the type of documentary photography projects I am interested in creating and completing are these kinds of hybrid writing experiences - they are academic, non-fiction storytelling that incorporate personal experience. That is how I would describe the written portion of my new book, “The Michael Jacksons”. 

What do you think makes your genre special?
“The Michael Jacksons” is representative of the type of work I’ve done in the last few years, and intend to in the next few, as well. It’s not so much that the book is a genre based book, but it encompasses to areas of study - the written ethnography and documentary photography. There is a kind of emerging field in these areas, Visual Sociology, in fact the first visual sociology text book was just published last year, in 2013. I like to think of “The Michael Jacksons” as a book that draws from both areas, and exists in both worlds simultaneously. It included over 35 portraits of Michael Jackson performers who live and work in the US, and text that both describes and analyzes their work, as well describes what the experiences of the Michael Jackson memorials in both New York City and Los Angeles in the summer of 2009. 

What do you think makes a great story?
Gosh, this is really in the quality of the language used to tell the story. The writing itself must be clear and without extraneous adornment. I’m a big non-fiction reader, of late, essays have been my thing. My husband suggested I read an essay by Christopher Hitchins that blew me away. Though I don’t always agree with what he says, the way he goes about expressing his ideas is engaging and seductive. 

What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?
“The Michael Jacksons” is part written ethnography and photo monograph about professional Michael Jackson representers who live and work in the United States. 

Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?
I am certain that someone who enjoys looking at popular culture through an analytical lens will love this book, as will anyone who appreciates photography’s ability to compare and contrast. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t understand that about how photography functions!

Is it a Standalone, or part of the series? If it's the latter, how long do you think will it go on?
“The Michael Jacksons” is, itself, a Standalone, but is part of a larger body of work, my photographic work, that explores human social representation and presentation. 

What influenced or inspired you to write it?
I started this book first as a photography project. I took portraits of Michael Jackson impersonators (the representers) for about two years before I started doing the research for the written ethnography. However, I always knew that in this project, the images themselves only told a part of the story. Usually I find a fellow academic to do the writing part, but I didn’t really think that I could find someone who understood, with the nuance that I had, about the performance aspect of what the representers do when they are in the studio with me. Understanding that, allowed me to find the proper channels to get the writing done. 

I took a year off from teaching and went to New York City to attend the sociology program at the New School for Social Research. There I took a class in ethnographic writing, I used this project for the course work. The writing was very much influenced by that experience and seeing that ethnographies were a perfect blend of storytelling, analysis and personal experience. 

Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?
“The Michael Jacksons” expresses exactly who the people are who are described in the book - they see themselves as Michael Jackson, also since there are multiple interpretations of who Michael Jackson is/was, then it made sense to pluralize that title to represent this!

What was the most difficult part for you working on your book?
The most difficult part of the book has not been the production of it or the content, but in its marketing. This is new to me, and is proving to be a challenge to get the word out about the book. 

Do you already know what to do next?
I have a few ideas floating around - I live in Los Angeles and New York City, both cities which are epicenters of visual communication. I’d love to do a similar ethnographic study on the paparazzi and paparazzi culture. I’ve also been researching addresses of where photographers from the canon of photo history lived in New York City, once “The Michael Jacksons” is published, I’d like to photograph the interiors of these buildings/apartments as a way of talking about the role of the artist within the culture of New York City. For those of us who are creative people and live in New York City, it has become a place that is increasingly out of reach. Meaning it’s very difficult to make a living in one’s creative field. Sure, many people do it, but many people, like me, have to find work elsewhere while having the social and cultural life of the city existing in the corners and shadows of our lives. It’s an unfortunate trajectory, unfortunate fall out of the last twenty years of politics and economics in New York. 

Where can we find more about you and your books?
You can read about the project on its website - There are also numerous online articles that have been posted, which a reader can access through the PRESS page on that website. 

Any last words?
Thank you for this opportunity to share this project and book with your readers. We’d really hope people find this project interesting and will pre-order the book from the website.


Michael Jackson died in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009. Since then his popularity as a figure of representation has soared and a kind of sub-culture has emerged that both celebrates and builds upon his artistic accomplishments. Michael Jackson representers (tribute artists, impersonators and look-alikes) are both male and female, and come from multiple age groups, races and socio-economic backgrounds. They hail from large cities, suburban sprawl and small rural settings. To them, Michael Jackson is a lifestyle and a place to focus both their personal and professional aspirations.

The Michael Jacksons is both a monograph, featuring over 35 MJ representers who live and work around the US, and an ethnography that seeks to deconstruct and understand the motivations of these fascinating people.

April 4, 2014

Non-Stop: Movie Review

Liam Neeson is one of the older Hollywood actors who made a huge comeback in the recent years. People believed the movie era of action flicks with griming alcoholic would be overtaken by a newer generation of Marvel superheroes who are family friendly. The youngest one would be Jason Statham, but with the success of 96Hours Liam is back better than ever. Expect another movie about a fallen hero who regains his honor and a lot of action even though everything happens on a plane.

March 22, 2014

My 100# Blog Post: My Experiences so far

A long time ago in a far away galaxy… oh, wrong movie. Star Wars 7 is all over my mind but today I want to talk about my own little universe: My Blog. Instead of looking what happened after the first year mark or any other time related milestone I instead choose to wait for my 100 post to write a little recap about my experience as a blogger.

March 16, 2014

300: Rise of an Empire - Movie Review

Seven years ago was the comic book adaptation 300 released. At its time it was a visual juggernaut that defined the style of the genre and gave Zack Snyder his breakthrough in Hollywood. Half naked Spartans under Leonidas rule fought the god kind Xerxes. Now starts its successor in the cinema, which is the sequel, prequel and also plays at the same time. The needed much story fragments to get together a whole movie as it looks like. Was it a success? Read it here:

March 5, 2014

Movie Reviews: Total Recall, Fright Night, 7 Psychos

Colin Ferrell is one of my most favored actors since his guest appearance on Scrubs. He has a recognized face even though none of his movies were ever a huge success. Somehow he appears all the time with original and interesting projects. He really is an actor who plays different roles. From the loveable guy to the badass villain. Here are some of his newest ones:

February 27, 2014

My Top 5 Leonardo DiCaprio Movies

Leonardo DiCaprio is an underrated actor, with a playlist of nearly only great movies over the years, like no one other horse. Not Brad Pitt, not George Clooney and even so he never achieved to win an Oscar. There are many great movies with him like The Beach, Blood Diamond, Django Unchained, The Great Gatsby, Aviator and Titanic.

February 22, 2014

Author Interview with Karen A. Wyle

Hi Karen, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm an appellate attorney, photographer, mother, and politics junkie, as well as an author. After living on both coasts for most of my life, I ended up in south central Indiana in 1989, and I've lived here ever since.

What do you think makes your genre special?
I'm not actually committed to one genre, but three of my four novels (including two that haven't come out yet) are science fiction. So I'll answer re science fiction, even though my current release, Wander Home, is either general fiction or some sort of hybrid of family drama and fantasy (see below).

February 17, 2014

Why I Write Romance Novels

[Post by Donna Fasano / Image by Pinky-Vuduu]

I can’t tell you how many times over the course of my 20-plus year career as a published romance author I have been asked, “When are you going to write a real book? You know, a [insert genre of choice: mystery, historical, thriller, etc].” So I’d like to take this opportunity to tell readers why I write romance novels.

February 8, 2014

Author Interview with Sergeio Pereira

Hi Sergio, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi Patrick! Well, I’m a 28 year old music journalist/writer/copywriter/pseudo-comedian from Johannesburg, South Africa – no, I don’t have a pet lion or giraffe – with Portuguese heritage. I’m a complete geek – my girlfriend often refers to me as the Fountain of Useless Information – plus, I’m still suffering from Breaking Bad withdrawal, too. 
[Me too, such a great series!]

Why did you start writing?

Originally, I wanted to become a vocalist in a rock band, but everyone quickly discovered that I couldn’t sing to save my life. However, I was told that my lyrics were good, so I took it from there and began experimenting with stories.

January 30, 2014

Author Interview with John Ashley

Hi John, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself.
I am currently a student at Booneville High School, and plan to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Harding University starting the fall of 2013. I've always enjoyed storytelling, be it ghost stories around a campfire, writing science-fiction, or coming up with creative excuses to get out of trouble. Along with that, I'm an avid sports fan, an outdoor enthusiast, and an amateur astronomer.

January 18, 2014

The Wolf of the Wall Street - Movie Review

Martin Scoresese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up once again. The last time was for Departed, which gained an Oscar for best movie. Leonardo on the other hand missed out another chance for the well deserved statue. Now he gets another chance along with Jonah Hill, who also would deserve it. Many chances, but how high are the chances to win the trophy? Find it out in my review:

January 12, 2014

Author Interview with Rebeccah Giltrow

Hi Rebeccah, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a 31 year old writer and editor from Lowestoft, England.  I've written and self-published a couple of books, and I plan to write a lot more. When I'm not sitting at my computer, you can find me in various places; curled up on the sofa with a book in hand, in the kitchen mixing up some cake batter, at the gym trying not to dislocate my limbs in Pilates class, in the pool improving my solo synchronised swimming skills, or down at the beach walking my dog.

January 7, 2014

Author Interview with Andrew Weaver

Hi Andrew, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself.
I have lived in many parts of the United Kingdom and am currently living in West Sussex. I enjoy many interests and hobbies, none more so than my love of classic cars - although this does unfortunately involve destroying them in fires.
My musical tastes are extremely eclectic, but nowhere near as diverse as my professional career…
I have worked in design & production in clothing, a Banker (that’s spelt with a B!) and am currently a self-employed Utility Consultant.

January 3, 2014

Movie Ranking 2013

The year is over and with it goes by a great year with many good movies.  I watched around 15 of them and made a ranking of the best 10. See yourself if you have the same opinion or find something interesting to watch next year on blue-ray. 

[Image by Lilithia]