Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Story Behind Buried Threads by Kaylin McFarren

I’ve been asked on numerous occasions about the inspiration behind my latest romantic suspense novel – Buried Threads. Not only does this come from my interest in scuba diving and Asian antiques, but also from the people I’ve had the privilege of knowing after traveling to Japan on a regular basis.

Buried Threads 2Thirty-nine years ago, I had the honor to meet a wonderful mama-san for the first time. To this day, she continues to oversee the operations of her teahouse as well as day-to-day activities for Gion geikos (not geishas) and maikos within her “family” in Kyoto, Japan. With the help of this 8th generation proprietor, I was able to develop personal relationships with young women who have chosen a less popular lifestyle in order to maintain the culture and beauty of their country.

During a separate trip, I also meet a Buddhist monk who arrived as a guest at a dinner party looking very much like an average Japanese businessman. Despite the fact that he wore western clothes and black rimmed glasses, and had shaggy brown hair, this man exuded remarkable warmth through his constant smile, slow, methodical gestures, and soft gentle voice. During the course of the evening, I witnessed his ability to read the future of family members and reveal a person’s past lives. He shared amazing photographs with glowing orbs and talked about his mission to travel around the world freeing trapped, tortured souls.

I also meet an unusual gentleman after attending my father-in-law’s funeral twenty years ago. While sitting in a black limousine, waiting to drive to a crematorium on the top of a mountain, he slid into the seat next to me wearing a black suit, black shirt and white tie. He had a tan, weathered face, spoke broken English and was extremely polite in every sense of the word. However, during our drive, I learned from husband that this man was not only his uncle, but also a high-ranking member of the yakuza – in other words, a prominent member of the Japanese mafia.

With all of these people in mind, I knew one day I would bring them together in one of my wild adventures, and with the creation of Buried Threads, my cast of characters was born. Although this second book in the Threads series picks up where Severed Threads left off, it truly stands alone. Within the pages of this self-published book, you will find interesting facts, historical places, Japanese culture and thrilling suspense. Like each of my books, it is designed to reach into your heart and leave an indelible impression – an encouraging message – reminding readers that they can overcome any obstacle in their lives if they just have faith in the possibility.

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Kaylin McFarren 2Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her won creative impulses.

Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon. They have three children and two grandchildren.
 
Her latest book is Buried Threads (Book 2 of the Threads series).

Visit her website at www.kaylinmcfarren.com.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Story Behind The Adventures of Rupert Starbright Book 3: The Ghost of Winter Joy by Michael DiCerto

 I think many kids look at their immediate world and find it boring. As a kid I escaped into the world of my imagination regularly. Though I did enjoy the characters and color of growing up in a very colorful (albeit sometimes dangerous) neighborhood of East Harlem, NYC, having a very active imagination and a slice of heaven that was my backyard to escape to was a real blessing. In the summer I would climb my crab apple tree and pick the sour fruit that most hated but I loved. In the autumn the carpet of leaves was a blast to kick around in. When the snow came, igloos and snowball fights ruled the day. One day I was tossing snowballs at my sister who was teasing me from the bathroom window, My first three shots missed- hitting the window as it slammed shut. But the fourth ball hit its target. Problem was it turned out to be my Dad!

When Spring returned I would help my parents plant flowers and vegetables in the small plot of soil that received enough sun. The sting of snowballs long melted to memory.

Although I grew up with four sisters and enough friends, I often enjoyed being alone in my world. Stories would fill my head. Worlds morph and form before me. So jump ahead a bunch of years where I found myself in a place in life where the job was a huge cloud of utter boredom. My personal Graysland. An escape was often the beauty of Central Park. So it was on an autumn day, when endless piles of leaves crunched under my feet, when the world of Rupert Starbright was born.He would live in a boring, gray world where the adults were more concerned with raking leaves than the minds of their children.

Rupert would be lured by the song- the music and the colors of a stranger who descends from the sky. Looking back it is obvious that Pie O’Sky was a rock star. Music has always been my greatest inspiration. Especially classic rock. Pie O’Sky with his Jimmy Page hair and Jimi Hendrix clothing was that same musical muse.

He would provide the door to adventure. As a writer- we are always looking for that open door. That chance to get our work seen.

The-Door-to-Far-MystMy first Rupert book was THE DOOR TO FAR-MYST. The publisher (Zumaya Thresholds) felt it would be better to split the book into two parts. Thus, the SECRET OF MY-MYST was born of book one. The reviews were great.

I knew Rupert needed more adventures and I would happily send him on them. I discussed a novella with my publisher- one with a holiday theme that could be released in December. Well, the novella became a novel. THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY. This story puts Rupert on an adventure where he will face a ghostly horror and get some clues as to why his home town is so boring. All while desperately trying to save the memory of ancient holiday that the people of Graysland once celebrated.

Perhaps is most exciting and interesting adventure yet, THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY, I hope, will join many others as a tale to be told every holiday season. A story to bring color into the lives of kids of all ages.
Will there be more adventures for Rupert Starbright. I imagine so…

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A filmmaker and writer since childhood, Mike has directed numerous shorts, music videos, documentaries, promotional videos and two feature films (NO EXIT and TRIPTOSANE). His first novel, Milky Way Marmalade received rave reviews and was the winner of the 2003 Dream Realm Award.

He is very excited about the release of the first of his exciting new kid-lit series, RUPERT STARBRIGHT: The Door to Far-Myst.

Mike, a certified Yoga instructor, has many interests including gardening (loves growing chili peppers in his rooftop garden), playing guitar, cats (long-time volunteer at NYC’s Ollie’s Place Adoption Center), really good and really bad movies and 70s TV as well all kinds of geeky stuff. He is a dedicated MST3K fanatic. He thinks of music as his religion—especially Classic Rock.

He lives quite contently in a NYC apartment with his wife and soul mate, Suzy and their rescued kitties, Cosmo and Rupert. You can visit Mike’s website at www.mikedicerto.com