CAT Magazine

CAT Magazine

Phoenix Johnson shares her upcoming debut novel and a recipe!

Phoenix Johnson aka Casey shares a blurb on her debut novel The Wolf In The Neighborhood – Book One of Wolf Smitten, Paranormal Erotic trilogy, contracted with Naughty Nights Press to be released 2013.










While she doesn't have a book cover yet, she did send a blurb to wet your appetite and a photo which portrays her main male character Derek. Yup, he is hot!! 


Her recipe for Zucchini Slice sounds delicious. When you can tear your eyes away from Derek, stop by and grab her recipe here

The Wolf In The Neighborhood

Krissy is an author in Manhattan, recovering from an abusive ex boyfriend. She is an attractive woman who spends her mornings sunbathing on the rooftop of her apartment building. She keeps her past a shrouded mystery, not wanting to relive painful memories.
      Her new neighbor Derek is a veterinarian with a dark secret. Having lived in England for quite a few years he has an interesting past of his own, which he is happy to divulge.
      They are drawn to each other from the moment their eyes meet on the rooftop of the apartment building. Their attraction is strong and it does not take long for them to give in to their urges. Krissy and Derek find comfort in each others’ company, not just sexually but mentally and emotionally as well as they heal from past hurts.
      When Krissy’s ex boyfriend arrives, she gets more than she bargained for as he shows just how ugly he is and making her realize just how lucky she is to have escaped his clutches. His appearance forces Derek to reveal his darker side. Refusing to have his reputation tarnished James soon returns with extra hands to show Derek and Krissy who is boss. With Krissy as his prize he will do anything to take Derek out of the picture and claim back what belongs to him.
            The lovers find an unlikely savior in Mike, the new door attendant in their apartment building. An ex-military man, Mike has his heart set on the beautiful Krissy and shows envy at how quickly Derek sweeps in to her life. When he witnesses their kidnapping, he follows to save the lady. Watching her concern for Derek’s injuries makes him realize she will never be his. Sustaining his own injury in the rescue, he does everything he can to save Krissy and her new lover.


Phoenix's short story Joanna's Rush is featured in Postcards of Passion by Naughty Nights Press and available on Smashwords FREE!

Enjoy her 9 Dancing Ladies , a naughty Christmas shorty written for the 12 days of Naughty Giveaways Blog Hop.

 Visit Phoenix on her Web site, Blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter

Located in Gold Coast, Queensland, Phoenix also loves photography; visit her Web site and check out her photos.

Don't forget to check out Phoenix's recipe on Author Favorites on the Recipe Corner.

Fashion, Stardom, Sex & Drugs! Blood:The New Red by David S. Grant


Today we are pleased to introduce you to David S. Grant, on tour now with his book, Blood:The New Red. I think you will love his book, a dark comedy that has a bit of it all! Welcome David!



David S. Grant is the author of ten books including “Corporate Porn”, “Bleach|Blackout”, “Hollywood Ending”, and “Rock Stars”.  His latest novel, “Blood: The New Red”, is now available.  David lives and writes his weekly rock, travel, and NBA columns from New York City.  For more information go to http://www.davidsgrant.com  Twitter: @david_s_grant  





WI: Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I’m the author of ten books including Corporate Porn, Bleach|Blackout, Hollywood Ending, and Rock Stars.  My latest novel, Blood: The New Red, is now available.  I live and write my weekly rock, travel, and NBA columns from New York City. 

WI: How many books have you written?
I have ten books published. My first, Corporate Porn, was published with Silverthought Press and had a character named Mickey. It was in this novel that the reader followed Mickey after he left the modeling industry to pursue a life in the adult movie industry. My latest book, Blood: The New Red is Mickey’s tale back into the fashion industry. Blood: The New Red is also published by Silverthought Press.

WI: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t know that I’ve ever considered myself a “writer”; however, I think we are all writers in some degree. I have been fortunate to have publishers print my work and online arenas to write, vent, and share my sense of humor. I write all the time, it’s cheaper than therapy.

LOL! I have to agree that it is cheaper than therapy.

WI: Have you had any classes or hold a degree that aides you in your writing? What developed your creative side?
I have three “corporate” degrees, none of which really aide me in my writing. Reading has developed my creative side and writing style. Early on I adapted styles from my favorite authors, eventually; my own style developed. I hope that when someone reads something I write they can “tell”, oh this must be written by David S. Grant; I like to mix humor and dark undertones, the perfect elixir for me and my voice!

WI: What, in your opinion, is the first most important step to marketing a book?
Just get yourself an audience! Okay, that’s not very easy, is it? I find that writing columns and “putting my work out there” allows readers to form an opinion. If they like what they read they may be inclined to look further and read my books. I’ve tried to put a number on the writing to marketing ratio and I just can’t, maybe 20 hours of marketing vs. 1 hour of writing? No, that would be a lie (for me). There is a much larger variation than that.

WI: Do you prefer to publish in paperback or e-book format?
Either is okay with me, but I still prefer to read paperbacks. I’m slowly changing though, of the last four books I’ve read, one was paperback, one was on my iPad, and two were on my iPhone.

WI: Tell us what it's like for you when you sit down to write...Do you need complete silence, do you create a playlist?
It doesn’t matter because if there is music or television I won’t pay attention to it. Does wine count? Okay I guess that’s something different! If I did have a playlist it would be heavy on rock and roll, good music like The Ramones, Guns N’ Roses, and Stone Temple Pilots.


WI: How long did it take you to write this particular book/novel?
For Blood: The New Red it took four to six months of jotting notes and outline. The actual first draft was done in a little over a month. I won’t start writing until I know approximately how many chapters and how the story will flow. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t change once I start writing (it usually does), but I need some structure or else there’s too much anxiety when faced with the blank page. Too much anxiety leads to too much wine and although lots of wine equals fun, the writing suffers.

I have to say I do love my wine too haha.

WI: Most authors despise the editing process. What is this process like for you?
Despise is pretty harsh, but yeah, it fits! I go through three drafts, trying to look with a critical eye and willing to kill my darling if needed. I am VERY lucky in that Paul Hughes has edited all of my books with Silverthought Press (including Blood: The New Red), he gives my rambling the proper structure, making for a much smoother read.

WI: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
Reading can be enjoyable!

Blood: The New Red begins at an after party where Mickey, and ex-adult movie star turned supermodel, is aligning himself with one of top Designers of Seventh Avenue. While trying to land a job on the runway Mickey is thrown into the center of a scene where sex is often the motivation, the wine is served by year, and cocaine is back in full force. Juanita, Mickey’s girlfriend is having difficulties staying sober, fully clothed, and off of her famous boyfriend.

Mickey goes to work for Fashion icon Paul Johnson, one of the two top Designers in NYC. The other is Sandy Johnson, another Designer who will stop at nothing including murder to guarantee victory. A runway exhibition has been scheduled for the two to compete in and find out who truly is the best Johnson. Mickey will be Paul’s top model, and Sandy has found a homeless person nicknamed Kung Fu Master to show his line.

In addition to getting his new line in place, Paul Johnson is also buying chain saws, the louder the better, to put the special in this special event.

Did you know that you can’t be sentenced to prison if actively seeking help at a mental facility? Paul Johnson knows this.

Somewhere between the girls, counting Vicodin pills, and show preparation Mickey has grown a conscience and no longer likes what he sees. He believes (and his psychiatrist agrees) that he has the power to change what’s happening around him.

Days before the show Kung Fu Master turns up dead and there is an attempt on Mickey’s life. After a brief period of unconsciousness Mickey is back, is told that Juanita and brother Cheeks are now also dead and that he must continue with the show. After all, what would Steven Tyler do?

The night of the show is laced with celebrities and models on the runway as well as one particular popular day-time talk show host that may or may not be murdered on the runway.
In the end only one Johnson will walk away, although this is temporary as Mickey has the last word.

Right before he pops his last Vicodin.

You’ve got the fashion industry, an ex-porn star turned model, and Oprah on a runway with chainsaws. I mean, what else do you want?


WI: What can we expect from you in the future?
I continue to write rock columns (MetalUnderground.com, SleazeRoxx.com), travel narratives (TravelMag.co.uk), and an NBA column (ProBasketball-fans.com) on a weekly basis. I am also working on another novel titled The Devil Wears Black Leather as well as a couple non-fiction works centered on rock bands and fear and loathing travel.

WI: Please let readers know where they can connect with you and purchase your books...
Twitter: @david_s_grant




Thank you so much for chatting with us today.
The Writing Innovations Team

Thank you for having me!
David

Blood: The new Red begins at an after party where Mickey, and ex-adult movie star turned supermodel, is aligning himself with one of top Designers of Seventh Avenue. While trying to land a job on the runway Mickey is thrown into the center of a scene where sex is often the motivation, the wine is served by year, and cocaine is back in full force. Juanita, Mickey’s girlfriend is having difficulties staying sober, fully clothed, and off of her famous boyfriend.

Mickey goes to work for Fashion icon Paul Johnson, one of the two top Designers in NYC. The other is Sandy Johnson, another Designer who will stop at nothing including murder to guarantee victory. A runway exhibition has been scheduled for the two to compete in and find out who truly is the best Johnson. Mickey will be Paul’s top model, and Sandy has found a homeless person nicknamed Kung Fu Master to show his line.

In addition to getting his new line in place, Paul Johnson is also buying chain saws, the louder the better, to put the special in this special event.

Did you know that you can’t be sentenced to prison if actively seeking help at a mental facility? Paul Johnson knows this.

Somewhere between the girls, counting Vicodin pills, and show preparation Mickey has grown a conscience and no longer likes what he sees. He believes (and his psychiatrist agrees) that he has the power to change what’s happening around him.

Days before the show Kung Fu Master turns up dead and there is an attempt on Mickey’s life. After a brief period of unconsciousness Mickey is back, is told that Juanita and brother Cheeks are now also dead and that he must continue with the show. After all, what would Steven Tyler do?

The night of the show is laced with celebrities and models on the runway as well as one particular popular day-time talk show host that may or may not be murdered on the runway.

In the end only one Johnson will walk away, although this is temporary as Mickey has the last word.

Right before he pops his last Vicodin.

Excerpt:

Always look like a rock star. This is the number one secret on how to be famous. I’m wearing chains, lots of chains. Eye shadow, lots of eye shadow. I wouldn’t say my pants are tight, but then again, my balls might disagree with you at the moment.
I’m standing on the second level of the Grand Hotel, overlooking the bar area. My manager tells me this is where I need to be standing. In five minutes I will move across the room and stand next to a long mirror where one of the Hiltons will walk by and notice my reflection. A photographer will be close by and be sure to get the picture. This mirror has been placed here for this sole purpose. My manager tells me not to stare at the mirror. If you asked me to list my weaknesses, this may be my number one fault.
DJ Shingles, the newest (which means hottest) DJ, is playing on a middle level between the first and second floors. There is barely enough room for him let alone the overflowing ashtray and oversized stocking cap. Rumor has it this is his last show, despite this being his first. There is talk that he is moving into production and will be working with a major player in the hip hop industry, depending on who is hot at the time. DJ Shingles is wearing an Armani black button-down shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Very last year, but this is more a statement than a miscalculation on his part. Last season is the new season.
My manager signals for me to make my way across toward the mirror. A reporter from GQ is following me and asking me questions about who I’m going to sign with and whether or not my past will affect my future. I get her number, tell her I’ll call her later, and then blow her off as I approach the mirror. Always leak your press, never tell. This is secret number three on how to be famous.
Four widescreen televisions are fastened to the wall behind the bar. All are showing TMZ. An orange haired girl wearing a Betsey Johnson dress sees me staring at the television sets. She walks over and whispers in my ear, “It’s the new CNN.”
A waiter carrying a tray of wine from 1980 is walking by. Every 15 minutes another waiter, another tray, another year will walk by. Welcome to the world of fashion parties. Ten percent content, ninety percent presentation.
A man who goes by the name Dontay hands me a coffee cup that is full of scotch. My manager tells me to sip it and not cheers anyone. Any buzz that insinuates I’ve been in rehab and have put my porn career in the past is good press and can only help my modeling career. As scheduled, I’m approached by someone with the last name Hilton.
The Hilton is wearing a blouse that is considered the color Ocean, the new blue, but since Aquamarine blue was in fact the new blue for last season and last season is in this season, no one should be caught dead in Ocean. Unless of course she is being ironic. If so, she will have to mention this to at least three people during the course of the evening.
Mickey, you’re back! I mean, uh…” Hilton looks at the coffee cup. “Welcome back!” She tips her coffee cup to me.
I glance around at the guest list, wondering who has the most juice at the party, but am distracted by the waiter walking through with wines from 1990.
Good year for cabernets,” Hilton says, then grabs her blouse. “Last season is the new season, huh? Fuck that.” She laughs and looks fidgety as lights pop around us. At one point Hilton puts her arm around me and kisses me on the cheek. FLASH. Mission accomplished.
I miss you, Mickey. We should get together sometime, you know, have a cup of coffee, fuck, or something.”
Sure, I tell her and then she leaves because she has a rule about spending over forty hours a week on the Lower East Side and this season many Fashion Week parties have been in LES, the new SoHo.
According to my manager, I need to make my way to a reserved table next to the bar where Paul Johnson is sitting. My manager also says to ignore the temptation of champagne. I have a job to do tonight.


Follow David's tour HERE to learn more about Blood:The New Red and the writer behind the book. Next stop:

March 29 - Author Spotlight at This Author's Life

Do You Believe in Ghosts? Chatting with Author Janet McNulty



WI: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I first realized that I wanted to be a writer when I was in high school. Back then I wrote a few short stories and poems, none of which I published. But at the same time I began writing a novel which I worked on for ten years. Writing started out as a hobby, but now it is time to turn it into a way of life.

WI: What inspired you to pen this particular novel/book?

I’ve always liked a good ghost story and a good mystery so I figured I’d put both into one book. The title Sugar And Spice And Not So Nice I had bouncing around my head for quite a while before I penned the first sentence. My goal was to make this a fun but entertaining read, and that is why I wrote this book.

WI: What road blocks did you come across while writing this story?

The biggest road block was making this a good mystery without it being just like every other mystery novel on the market. I wanted to keep the story engaging, funny, and serious while at the same time making it different. That is the hardest thing about writing any novel.

WI: What do you do if a story just doesn't seem to flow the way you were hoping it would?

If I can’t get a story to go the way I want it to, I usually scrap the entire thing and start over. Though sometimes I will keep the parts of the story I like, and throw away the parts that I do not like. Then, I go through my outline and rework how I want the story to go before restarting it.

WI: What has been the hardest thing about marketing this story?

The hardest part about marketing is getting the name out there. There are a lot of mysteries on the market, some by well-known authors. The hardest part about marketing this book, is getting people to want to pick it up and begin talking about it to their friends. Word of mouth is what sells a book and that I the hardest thing about marketing any book, including this one.

WI: What is one thing you wished you knew before, that you now know about marketing?

How hard it would be. Marketing mean investing money in advertisements and it also means investing a lot of time. It also takes patience. Success does not happen overnight. It comes in bits in pieces until you start to make a name for yourself.

WI: What is one piece of advice that you received to help your writing that you still carry with you today?

The biggest piece of advice I received was that you should distance yourself from your novel when you start editing. I what I do to achieve this is I will put my writing away for a few weeks before I begin the editing process. Then I read it from the perspective of my audience and ask myself, “Does this story engage my interest and can I see, touch, and smell the places my characters are in?”

WI: Tell us what a day in your writing life is like, do you have any writing quirks?

One of my biggest quirks is that I like to listen to the soundtracks of my favorite movies for inspiration while I write. I will also read what I wrote and read the dialogue of my characters in different voices.

WI: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

I hope take my writing to a place where I have a bunch of successful books on the market enjoyed by people all over the world. As a writer I create stories and every writer wants the public to read and enjoy the tales they weave.

WI: Are you currently working on any new projects?

I am currently working on two novels. The first is a sequel to Sugar And Spice And Not So Nice. The second novel I am writing is titled Legends Lost Tesnayr, which is a fantasy adventure. I hope to have both of them completed before the end of the year.

WI: Where can readers find you?

Your readers can follow me on Twitter. My profile name is JMRUL.

WI: Where can your book be purchased?

My book can be purchased at Amazon.com in both paperback and on the Kindle. It is also available on Barnes and Noble’s Nook.


We want to thank you for taking time to chat with us today and offering your writing & marketing experiences. We wish you much success in the future.

The Writing Innovations Team

Mellow Summers just wanted to go to college and get her film degree. She moved into a furnished apartment with her friend Jackie only to find that it already had a tenant: the ghost of a girl who was murdered a year earlier. Now it is up to Mellow to not only discover who the murderer is, but to prove it as well. 

With the help of the ghost Rachel, Mellow sets out to solve the year old mystery. She soon finds out that she may have taken on more than she can handle. Pursued by someone who wants the identity of the killer to remain a secret, Mellow will have to use all her resources to outwit him and help the spirit of Rachel move on.  



Excerpt:

     "I groaned as I rolled over onto my side. I opened my eyes. Rachel stood over me. “Oh, no,” I said, “It wasn’t a dream?”"

You didn’t tell me everything,” I accused. “You told me that you last saw Rachel at her apartment, but the truth is you went to the computer lab. Why didn’t you tell me?”"

"My name is Mellow Summers and I am twenty-six years old. I was never was one to believe in ghosts...That is not until I met Rachel."



Review - Real Moms Love To Eat by Beth Aldrich


Beth Aldrich, author of, Real Moms Love to Eat wants you to conduct a love affair with food and still look fabulous by simply working through her easy-to-follow 10-part plan of making over your entire outlook and relationship with food. You have to eat at least three times a day, so why not love what you're eating and feed yourself food that will love you back? Discover new and interesting ways to prepare and "get involved" with food; complete with 21-days of satisfying and delicious meal suggestions, this funny book will find a permanent spot on your bedside table or kitchen counter. Real Moms really DO love to eat! 





Reviewed by BK Walker:

This book is a must have, not only for Moms, but it will suit any person wanting to love their food. Aldrich brings her humor to the pages as she teaches you how to love food and not feel guilty. Full of recipes and meal plans, encouraging you to eat 3 times a day, which let's face it, not all of us are good at eating, and how to balance your diet so you can easily lose weight, love food and feel great! It's not just a diet plan, it's a way of life. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an honest, easy way to shed those pounds and keep them at bay. You can love your food and eat it too :).

Excerpt:


 “Oh, food—how we love you, and how we fear you. How we desire you, and how we push you away. Food, you shameless flirt, you player, you tease. You could almost seduce us into an illicit affair. . . . Maybe because moms are so concerned with setting a good example or guiding their kids down the right path, we sometimes make ourselves feel guilty. We deny ourselves pleasure. But when it comes to food, this is a big, Oh, no, you don’t! Denial leads to obsession—the nasty kind where you can’t get that bad boy out of your head and then you binge. Instead, when you give yourself the license to love a variety of foods, experiment with an array of flavors, and lighten up on your self-righteous have-to-eat-100-percent-healthy-and-be-perfect-all-the-time side, then you can give yourself permission to love—food and anything or anyone else. You find a new balance. You find your own personal way of healthy eating. Fear leads only to ruin. Denial leads to deprivation. Controlled indulgence, on the other hand, leads to freedom.”


Beth Aldrich, Certified Healthy Lifestyle Counselor and Nutrition Expert, engaging speaker, media personality and author of the book, Real Moms Love to Eat (New American Library-Penguin Books imprint, January,2012), delivers health, nutrition and environmental fundamentals through keynote addresses, lectures and as a media spokesperson. As an expert health and nutrition columnist for Diet.com, SocialMoms.com, Hotmomsclub.com and RealMomsLovetoEat.com, Beth shares her wisdom, experience and knowledge about all things eco and health. From food coaching, and living a balanced life to, the energetics of food and finding your passion, Beth delivers her message in a charismatic yet compassionate way. 

She is the founder of For Her Information Media, LLC (FHI) established in 2003, with productions such as the PBS TV series, For Her Information (aired in Turkey, Israel and 60 cities, nationwide), the radio shows, A Balanced Life with Beth Aldrich, and Real Moms Love to Eat with Beth Aldrich, and the online magazine and newsletter, FHI Online. Her company's mission is to be a life guide for conscious-minded women. Beth is also the founder of Restoring Essence Nutrition, LLC and a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Beth received her education from Columbia University's Teachers College and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. 

http://www.realmomslovetoeat.com 

Artist, Writer & All Around Fun Guy - Steven Novak



Born in Chicago Illinois, Steven Novak has spent the whole of his life creating. After attending The Columbus College of Art and Design for four years he moved to California where he married his wife. The pair have been together for nearly a decade. He likes pizza. He’s sort of a nerd. He has terrible luck and worse personal hygiene. He also hates having to write bios about himself. He thinks bios are stupid. His work can be found online at www.novakillustration.com






Welcome to Writing Innovations Steven. I just love the fact that you are into Art and write! I have to say that I think those make the best books and I can't wait to start reading yours, which is next on my list. So without further ado...I give you Steven Novak!

WI: Tell us a little bit about yourself...

I’m closer to thirty than I am to forty. I have a full head of hair. I’m often seen with a beard. My eyes are blue, my lips are usually frowned, I’ve got a slightly pudgier belly than I’d like, and there’s a scar on my testicles from my vasectomy.

You probably didn’t need to know that though.

I make my living as a graphic designer, illustrator, and writer. I also work out of my home. I usually don’t shower until noon. I often work in my underpants and sometimes not even in that.

You probably didn’t need to know that either.

My wife is ten years older than me. I have a stepson who is seven years younger, and he has two children under the age of three. I guess that technically makes me a grandpa. Yep, I’m a grandpa with a faux-hawk.

Welcome to the modern age.

WI: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I guess I’ll let you know when it happens – if it happens.

It probably won’t happen.

It’s a little bit silly, but I’ve always thought of writers as old men with pointy beards and wrinkles so deeply set into their faces that you could trip on them. Writers smoke pipes stuffed with odd smelling substances. Writers have gray hair and wear dusty old jackets with patches on the elbows. Their voices sound like gravel being eaten by a walrus with teeth made entirely of gravel. Writers care about politics, and attend rallies, and shake their fists at the forces of injustice.

I poke fun at Kim Kardashain’s posterior and tell stories about the time a hobo tried to urinate on me in a public restroom.

The only rally I’ve ever attended is a comic book convention.

I’m not a writer.

Well, my theory is if you put words to paper, you're a writer lol. 

WI: Have you had any classes or hold a degree that aides you in your writing? What developed your creative side?

Nope. Not one. Not even half of one.

I did take a creative writing course in high school but I was way too lazy and far too interested in drawing boobs on my notebook to actually do the required work. I failed it. I also attend a four-year (somewhat well known) art college. None of my courses had anything to do with writing though.

That being said, I’ve always been creative and I’ve always spent my free time making things. In grade school I created homemade comic books and sold them to the kids on the bus. In high school my little brother and I scripted, shot, and edited no less than fourteen feature length movies.

Heck, I even managed to trick my wife into abandoning common sense entirely and hop into the sack with me because of the romantic sketches and letters I sent her way during our rather awkward courting period.

My creative side has ruined that poor woman’s life.

WI: What, in your opinion, is the first most important step to marketing a book?

Kiss a lot of ass and get really lucky.

That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Sorry.

It’s also probably not the answer anyone wants to hear.

Unfortunately, we all know it’s true.

Talent doesn’t rise to the top. That’s a silly notion. It never has. If talent rose to the top there would be no Lindsay Lohan, and Snooki sure as hell wouldn’t have written a book that made it onto the bestseller list.

If you want to sell some books or get that promotion you’ve been angling for, you need to be outgoing, and you need to be annoying, and you can’t b ashamed of it. That’s all it takes. Plain and simple. Selling books requires you to shove your name down people’s throats and hope for the best.

Personally, I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason to any of it.

Then again, I’m just a dope that wrote a silly story about the time I muttered the words “space aged polymer” while making love to my wife.

The best possible advice I could give you is that you shouldn’t listen to anything I say.

WI: Do you prefer to publish in paperback or e-book format?

I still prefer an old school book. I’ve published all of my independent stuff on every format available, because I have to, but I don’t even own a Kindle. My wife owns one. I’ve never read anything on it, though. I took it into the bathroom with me once. The only thing she had on it was the Twilight series.

I nearly flushed it down the toilet.

WI: Tell us what it's like for you when you sit down to write...Do you need complete silence, do you create a playlist?

The first thing I do is take off my pants. It’s the only way I can get the creative juices flowing. If my sweaty, exposed cheeks aren’t plastered to the leather seat beneath them I can’t think straight. I write in the nude or I don’t write at all. Deal with it!

Okay, that was a lie.

I sometimes leave on my socks.

Okay, that was a lie as well.

I’m usually wearing a scarf too.


WI: How long did it take you to write this particular book/novel?

Goats Eat Cans is essentially a collection of short stories about particularly annoying moments from my life and I’ve been assembling it for a very, very long time. It would be hard to say exactly how long it took. The first drafts of some of the stories were written over seven years ago and a few others were whipped up last Christmas.

WI: Most authors despise the editing process. What is this process like for you?

I guess I’m a lot like most authors in that case, because I hate it as much as anyone. In fact, I hate it so much I don’t even do it.

Okay, I’m lying again.

Over the years I’ve worked with a lot of fantastic editors who have trudged through my poor punctuation and blatant disregard for the English language. They’ve drank endless cups of coffee, popped bottles of pills and pulled so much hair from their head that they had to move to their crotch to find some more. They’ve saved me from looking like a complete idiot and I appreciate them immensely.

That being said, I rarely take their advice when it comes to “story suggestions” and I don’t often make any major alterations from my first draft. I don’t like to over think things.

I don’t even really like to plain old think things.

WI: Do you like the traditional publishing route, or do you prefer self-publishing?

Having done both I actually prefer the self-publishing route quite a bit. Maybe it’s because of the publishers I’ve worked with in the past? I dunno. Maybe not. There’s certainly something to be said about the complete and total freedom that comes with seeing a project from beginning to end and not having to compromise your vision in any way.

It’s not that dislike the opinions of others when it comes to my stories, it’s just that, in the case of self-publishing, mine is more important.

If you’re going to self-publish something, make it yours 100%. That’s my motto.
I’ve worked in the commercial arts for years and having total control over a project is a rare and wonderful thing. The fact that I spend so much of my time bringing to life the ideas of others might have something to do with my unwillingness to let the nosey jerks worm their way into that as well.

Or maybe I’m actually the jerk.

Either way.

WI: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

When it comes to Goats Eat Cans specifically, I just hope you get a few chuckles. It’s a humor book. It exists to make you laugh and at a $1.99 it’s a pretty good deal. * wink wink *

Sure there are a lot of extremely personal stories in there, and if you get something beyond the laughs from it, awesome. That’s icing on the cake.

If you’re the kind of person that enjoys the age-old humor that comes from watching a man being hit in the groin with a football, I think you’ll like Goats Eat Cans. Life is the football and it’s been whacking me in the scones for as long as I can remember.

You laugh at me and you feel better about yourself.

That’s more than worth a $1.99.

WI: How did art become a part of your life? Have you always been drawn to it?

Drawn to it.

Well played.

Yeah, art has always been a part of my life. To this very day my mother loves to tell the story about how I pulled off my diaper when I was a wee tyke, grabbed a handful of the nastiness inside, and used it to paint the wall next to my crib.

I’ve always wanted to draw and I’ve always wanted to make stuff – so much that I was willing to do it with my poop.

WI: How has your illustration helped you in your writing endeavors? I know for me, I often see scenes more clearly as a result of my artistic side. Is it like that for you?

A lot of writers hate when I say this, but sometimes the pictures come before the words for me. In fact, for the last year or so, in my spare time I’ve been writing, illustrating, and publishing a webcomic titled, The Bad Guys. It’s a labor of love sort of thing.

Anyway, this is the part that makes my writer-pals cringe – you see, I don’t have a script for it.

I draw the panels and the pages first and I plop in the words after the fact.

It’s wrong. It’s backward. I know it’s wrong and backward. I also sort of don’t care because it works for me.

A few years back I wrote a young adult fantasy/adventure trilogy titled Forts. Before I ever typed a word of the story I sat down at my desk and painted a rough version of the cover featuring all of the characters. I’m a creative guy first and a writer second. In fact, the actual act of writing is sort of a pain in the butt for me. If I could slice open my skull, lift out my brain, smear it against the monitor and instantly transfer the story to words, I’d do it in a second.

It would probably be pretty damn messy and I’d most likely have to purchase a new monitor, but I’d still do it.

Oh, I guess I might die too.

That would be an issue.

WI: What can we expect from you in the future?

This year is 100% dedicated to Goats Eat Cans. Volume 1 is available as I type and Volume 2 is currently in the hands of my editor. I’m aiming for a July release. I’m also putting the finishing touches on Volume 3. If everything goes according to plan it should be available in time for Christmas.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better Christmas gift than a book that features a story about the time my childhood pal poured a gallon of urine onto the head of his younger brother. That’s a fact, Jack.

Seriously, stuff one of these things in the stocking of your significant other and I can guarantee that they’ll never forget it.

There’s also a good chance they might never forgive you.

Either way, it’ll make for a memorable conversation over a mug of chocolate milk.

WI: Please let readers know where they can connect with you and purchase your books...

All Goats Eat Cans relate information can be found at: www.goatseatcans.blogspot.com

All other Steven Novak related stuff can be found at: www.novakillustration.com

I also host a mostly weekly podcast through my writers group at: www.litunderground.com

I’m on Twitter @stvfoolery and you can find me on Facebook as well. If you send me a friend request, I’ll accept it without question. I’ll let you browse my personal profile. I’ll let you dig through my family photographs and laugh at how goofy I looked in childhood pictures. I’m a man damn it! I’m not scared that you could be a lunatic stalker who spends his or her weekend bathing in a bathtub full of your own excrement and human limbs cooked medium rare! That’s how I roll, Jack! My pen name isn’t S.C. Novak! I refer to people as Jack far too often! Bring it on poop tub! I can handle your cooked-arm poop tub!

WI: Thank you so much for chatting with us today.  - The Writing Innovations Team

Thanks for reading – if you are still reading.

You probably aren’t.

I mentioned poop an awful lot.

LOL. Not that you guys got a taste of what the book will contain...Steven is also offering 2 giveaways as part of his virtual book tour. 2 lucky people that follow and comment on the tour have a chance to win a Signed Chapter Art Illustration and a Signed Paperback of Goats Eat Cans. So leave a comment and follow the tour HERE for more chances to win.

Remember the weird kid with the greasy hair and the odd smell you went to school with? You know, the one who never talked to anyone? That creepy little jerk who sat alone at lunch? The oddball who never took a shower in gym class? The one you imagined might one day go on a shooting spree?

Believe it or not, that kid grew up.

He grew up, he got married, he never shot a single person, he wrote a book, and he even started taking showers after his workouts – most of the time.

Goats Eat Cans is his story.

Follow along as Steven Novak recounts the sometimes hilarious, sometimes hilariously painful, and sometimes painfully hilarious moments that have made his life so wonderfully frustrating. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you might even vomit. No matter what, you won't be able to stop reading.

Goats Eat Cans features 55 stories, 55 illustrations, 99 luftballons and enough nonsense to keep you chuckling and giggling for days on end – or hours – or at the very least a few minutes.

WEBSITES:



Excerpt:

MY CAT SMASHING MOJO


I have a mortal enemy. His name is Jabar.
Jabar is a cat.
Is that lame—to have a cat as a mortal enemy? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. If I were you though, I wouldn’t rush to judgment. You don't know this cat. This cat is evil. He's cunning, he's focused and nasty and vile and just plain mean.
He’s smart too.
He’s real smart.
He’s so smart he’ll write your midterm, and he’ll get a better grade than you ever would have.
He's my Lex Luthor.
Of course, if he's Lex Luthor, that would make me Superman, and I can’t be Superman. I hate that goody two-shoes jerk. Plus, I look terrible in red speedos.
Okay, this cat is my Joker. Which makes me Batman.
Yeah, I can deal with being Batman. Not the corny seventies Batman, but cool, pissed-off Frank-Miller-Dark-Knight-Returns Batman. I’ll be the Batman who chews steel, spits iron, and calls Robin a fruitcake.
That Batman’s awesome.
You see, not long after purchasing and moving into our first home, the wife and I had a cat door installed in the door leading into our garage. We then had another installed in the side door leading from the garage to the back yard. This was so our two cats could come and go as they pleased. It was simple. It was cheap, and at the time, it seemed to make perfect sense.
The thing we never counted on was that, while the doors gave our cats the ability to get out, they also presented other cats in the neighborhood with a way to get in.
It really should have been obvious from the start, but it wasn’t.
Okay, so maybe I'm not exactly Batman.
I mean, besides being a hell of a hand-to-hand fighter, a billionaire playboy, and a heck of a detective, Batman was also a scientist. A scientist would have figured out the intricacies of the cat door situation long before installation began.
I first spotted him on a Tuesday morning. I was late to work. I hustled down the stairs and into the kitchen where I planned to snag my keys and head for the door.
He was right there, waiting for me.
There was a very fat cat with a big black spot over his right eye sitting on my kitchen counter. The chubby, eye-patched little bastard was squatting on my tiled countertops without a care in the world—like he owned the place.
Our eyes met and I swear to you, I saw him grin.
Before I could react, he leapt from the counter, shot through the cat door leading into the garage, zoomed through the one leading into the yard, and was gone.
Not only was he smart, he was fast—especially for a dude carrying a couple extra pounds.
Lets jump ahead to Wednesday night. I was awoken by the sound of two cats fighting downstairs. I figured it's just our two cats—because they’re jerks and they fight all the time—so I tried to go back to sleep. Plus, I was in the middle of a fairly fantastic dream involving me, the Enterprise, and an invading horde of hypersexual Orion slave girls.
The fighting didn’t stop.
It wouldn’t stop, and it sounded a heck of a lot more vicious than usual.
I dragged myself from bed, wobbled downstairs half-awake, and clicked on the lights. It was Jabar. He was in my house, and he was beating the snot out of my cats. The black-eyed devil spotted me and escaped in a blink.
The next night, the exact same thing happened.
The night after that, he did it again.
He was toying with me.
The wife and I decided to temporarily close up the cat doors and bring a litter box into the equation. After a few weeks, we tried the cat doors again.
The very next night, Jabar was back.
Damn it!
I’d had enough. If Jabar’s intention was to start something, he should considered it started. It was on! I was done fooling around. I was done playing the straight man, and I was through playing nice. No more games. No more second chances. No more lollygagging, no more pigeonholing, and no more lollypigeons!
If he wanted some of me, he was going to get some of me. He was going to get all of me he could handle, and them some!
I coiled my hands into fists and slammed my knuckles together. I lifted my head to the stars and proclaimed to the heavens above, "Bring it on, bitch!”
The wife heard me from the other room. "Bring what on? Who are you talking to?"
"Nothing...no one."
It was a Monday night—around 11 p.m. I was in the garage, and I was standing to the side of the door leading into the backyard. My eyes were trained on the flapping plastic covering the cat door just below my knees. Hoisted above my head was a brick.
My plan was simple: Cat comes into garage. Cat gets smashed.
Almost elegant in its simplicity, no?
Sort of like a Peanuts comic strip—with bricks and squashed cats.
"Steven, are you in he—" The wife stepped into the garage and immediately spotted me with a brick over my head, a wild expression on my face, and sweat pouring from my brow.
She stared at me for a moment, an indescribable look of confusion on her face. "Steven, what are you doing?"
"Nothing."
Her eyes moved from me, to my smashing brick, and back to me. She wasn’t buying my nothing excuse. "No, seriously, what are you doing?"
"I'm going to crush Jabar with this brick."
"Who's Jabar?"
The cat that keeps coming in here at night."
"How do you know his name is Jabar?"
"I heard the little girls across the street calling him that when they were playing with him in their yard."
Her expression changed. Suddenly, she was looking at me like I’d just taken a dump on the floor—like I dropped my pants and started humping the punch bowl at her company Christmas party.
"So, wait. You're going to stand here in the garage all night so you can smash the cat of the little girls across the street with a brick when he tries to come in our house?"
When she said it aloud like that, I have to admit, it sounded just a little idiotic.
So what?
I couldn’t let that deter me. The plan was the plan, and the plan was set in motion. There was no coming back and no backing down. I had no intention of allowing her to steal my need for vengeance! Under no circumstances whatsoever was I going to let her ruin my cat-smashing mojo. Not today! Not ever again!
"Yep. That's exactly what I'm going to do."
"No, you're not."
"I'm not?"
"No, you're not."
"But I want to."
"You're not smashing that cat."
"Oh."
"Put the brick down and come upstairs."
You've won this round Jabar.